Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ladies Bible Study update

WOW! Things are going so good, I can't believe it. We had 29 today. Never had 29 before. We had to move out into the gym, and set up another table. Mom taught on Eve and the serpent. It was real good. She made the point that Satan offered Eve what he himself had wanted, to be like God.
I pray that God will work in the lives of all the ladies who were there today, that the Word that was taught might take root in their lives. We had 4 unsaved ladies there, we pray that they might understand their need for salvation.
Please pray for Georgina, Pati Veloso, Pati Huenchulaf and Sandra. These are my group leaders. We've already had a few problems, but that is to be expected when you are in the Lord's service. Pray for Eileen as she cares for the little ones.
The Lord always blesses us, but not always as visibly. We are thankful, but aware that there is still much to be done. And much more to be.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Please pray

I know that I have brought this up before, but its still unresolved. We brought a container full of stuff last year from the US. We got permission to store it at our own house until Customs had cleared it. Its been a year, and Customs still has not cleared it, due to problems on our end, and problems on their end. Due to a clerical error, they called us this afternoon telling us that they were going to arrive tomorrow with a truck to seize our stuff and auction it all off. We spent several tense hours calling different people and trying to get the right paper work to the right people. All is well, now. for the moment.

Please pray with us that we would be able to end this!

Great Weekend!

For most people, a great weekend is about getting away from work and having a relaxing time with friends and family. For most Christians, its about relaxing with friends and family and worship with the body of Christ. For us, its Game Time! Here is where the rubber meets the road. Here is 48 hours of work. For starters, we had kids Bible club. We had 51 kids and 14 leaders and helpers. This was amazing as it was not really anything special, just the results of prayer and work. The meeting was great and we all had a good time. Club was followed by church cleaning. There were 2 other ladies that came and did the bulk of the church cleaning. This was fabulous, as we now have a fairly large church. Auditorium, gym, 3 bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, and 5 classrooms.

After cleaning, they had rehearsals for the big puppet event in two weeks. Mom and Neil stayed for that, and I went home to fix supper.

At 6 on Sunday morning, we got a call from a pastor in a nearby town. He ahd taken the bus from Santiago, and the bus attendant didn't wake him up in his town, but dropped in in our town. He tried to get a bus home, but there was nothing at that time,. So, he called Neil to come a get him. I got up and made pancakes. We had a nice visit before he got a ride home. It was still so early that I had time to shower and do my hair before Sunday School!
Our preschool teacher quit last week, so I had to take the class. No big deal. But I was glad that, during the break, a lady came and offered to take the class. She had taught years ago, and wanted to start again. I said Great!

We had 102 in Sunday School yesterday which is our goal. We want to average 100 in Sunday school before the year is out.

After Church, I rushed home to put the crockpot dinner on the table. We had great roast beef. Then off to a 50 minute nap. At 3 we head of to the mission Church in Mafil. There were 20 from Mafil, besides the 10 that we take from Lanco. We had a nice service, and one young man got saved.

Then, we rush back to Lanco for the evening service. Now, for most US churches, Sunday evening is for the church family. Its a little more relaxed than Sunday Morning. Not so for us. Its our prime evangelistic service. We had several visitors. We had a total of 118 people yesterday. Don't get me wrong though, its not about the numbers. Its about the souls those numbers represent. And its about seeing fruit from years of labor. So all in all, it was a great weekend!

Friday, April 24, 2009

To Spanish-speaking missionaries

Have any of you see the "El Principio del Tesoro" DVD by Randy Alcorn? We have the book, and I think that it is great. Our Pastor reccomended "Money, possessions and Eternity",which I have not read. Anyway, while looking up this book, I found the DVD in Spanish. WooHoo! But, is it any good? 25 dollars plus shipping good?

If you've seen it, let me know!

BTW, did you know that you can order Dutch Blitz for 6 bucks at CBD? We paid 12 the the US at a store.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ladies meeting confession

We've been doing Ladies Bible study for years. For the past 2 years or so, we have kind of "peaked" at an average of 17. Good but not really growing. I also was getting weary of the ladies arriving late. We start our meeting with prayer requests and prayer, but it got to the point that we would strech it our to wait for stragglers, often half the group. Being an American, that was unacceptable. But not just as an American, but as a Christian who does not like using prayertime as a time-killer while latecomers arrive. So Mom and I had an inspiration. We divided the group into three, at three different tables. We chose leaders for each table. These ladies would be responsable for visiting their group, advising us to any particular need of one of their ladies and most important, have prayer requests and prayer in their group. The somewhat unexpected outcome what a friendly rivalry between groups. We had 19 the first week and 21 the next week. Visitation was done by the group leaders. Yay! We have delegated successfully! And I told the leaders that they were to start prayer time at 4 and end at 4:15 on the dot. We had fewer latecomers on week two! Yay! There is more than one way to skin a cat!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ladies Bible Study

Well, my insanely busy life just got busier. Yes, I need to cut back. But, where? Which one of my kids should I give up? I cannot give up the ladies ministry, as they need it so badly. And to add to all the fun, we started a
2 o'clock study in Mafil, followed by a 4 o'clock study in Lanco.
The Mafil study is unique in that the ladies have 2nd grade reading level, well, those who read have a 2nd grade reading level. The others just listen.
Today, we learned the names of the first 5 books of the Bible. They got stuck on "Deuteronomio". That's OK. A lot of people do! I gave a flash-card lesson about Adam and Eve and the fall.

In Lanco, we had a great meeting. We had 21, which is great. I taught about hearts, my heart, my husband's heart and my kids' hearts. I am trying to get them to understand that they must reach out emotionally and spiritually to their kids. Only time will tell if any of them got it. I have to trust that the Holy Spirit will lead them to the truth. A lady visited on Sunday, and got saved. She came today, and she was so excited!

But now, its all over and I am tired! So is Eileen, since she cared for the children during the class. She really needs a good helper. She is a real trooper.

I have really wanted to spend some blogging time, but some days, I hardly have time to read your blogs. I get such a blessing from reading!
God bless and keep you.

Hope you are basking in the Son!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My "Multitud of Counsellors"

Okay, so maybe not a multitud, but I do seek counsel. Not always with a real, live, talking human, but through books. I would like to share them with you.
But first, I cannot write about my counselors without first writing about my mom. She is my greatest counselor. I learn by her words and example.
She also is a big lover of great books, mostly biographies, some study books and some fiction.

My "Counsellors" on Child training and discipline are: Michael and Debi Pearl and Voddie Baucham. Books: To Train up a Child and Family Driven Faith. I read and reread these books and I give them as gifts.
I also like to listen to Voddie online, and I read NGJ's newsletter.
My "counsellor" in Wifehood (is that a real word?) and motherhood: Debi Pearl, "Created to be his Helpmeet"
I know that this book is controversial to some, but I find it very helpful for me and for those that I counsel.
Another "Counsellor" in this area is Stormie Omartian and her Power of a praying wife. If you have not read this book, I heartily suggest that you do!
My"Counsellor" in Housekeeping is Flylady!
Added to this are the writings and sayings of Booker T Washington, who knew the value of hard work and dilligence.

My "Counsellors" in finance are Mary Hunt and Dave Ramsey
I find that it helps to read different authors in order to get a greater vision. And it goes without saying that of course, you absolutely must compare everything to Scripture. I read the One Year Bible for my daily reading. If you don't read all the Scripture, you'll depend on books and teachers and never really learn to rely on the Lord.

I thank God for allowing me to learn and grow.

Lyrics that convict

From Steve Green's "We Believe"
"A chasing of the wind"
Every heart is filled with longing
To be free from all life's pain
Yet the search through earthly pleasures
Always ends in vain
Only God who made the heavens
Can satisfy our souls
Apart from Him and all His meaning
All things fail as they begin
And hearts deceived
Can only know
A chasing of the wind
All achievements, all possessions
All with time return to dust
Only God can be our reason
For deep and quiet trust
He will guard us from the dangers
That gladly make men fools
Apart from Him and all His meaning
All things fail as they begin
And hearts deceived
Can only know
A chasing of the wind
A chasing of the wind
Why do we live without Jesus?
Why do we waste another day?
He is the life that sustains us
The only hope for us today
So tell me, why do we live
Why do we live without Him?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sitting at the feet of Jesus

I gave a short devotion at our ladies meeting. As it was the first meeting of the year, we had a dinner and just a short teaching. I talked about Phoebe in Romans 16 and Mary, the sister of Martha.
Paul praised Phoebe highly for the work that she did. Jesus also praised Mary for just sitting there, listening to him.
Who was better?
To me, its all a matter of timing. There is a time to be busy about the Lord's work. To roll up your sleeves and do what has to be done. There are children to care for and a house and a church to be cleaned. There are meals to be made and a hundred other chores to be done....for the glory of the Lord.
Then there is a time to sit at Jesus' feet and listen, drink in all that He has to say. Commune with the Master. This takes quiet and stillness.

Lately I have not had a great deal of quiet time. Sometimes I feel that I am running on spiritual autopilot. But the truth is that for now, I must be busy. Its busy time and there is no time to dawdle. This is not a time for introspection, its a get-up-and-get-it-done time.

Oh Lord, give me the wisdom to know when to be a Phoebe and when to be a Mary

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

What is our Prime Directive?

What is our primary purpose. I am sorry, I didn't read Rick Warren's book, so I'll have to figure it out on my own! Some say soulwinning is our prime directive and I can see why, given Matthew 28. However, I think that there is more to it.
I believe that our goal, our Prime Directive is to be conformed to the image of Christ, per Romans 8:29. When we make that our goal, everything else fit into place, all our service is done in the right spirit. All our relationships run more smoothly.
So often we make a particular "thing" the basis for measuring our spirituality. But, since we are human, we can't really measure spirituality by deeds alone, since good deeds can be done by christians and non-christians alike. Even atheists can do good.

Year ago, we were give a Steve Green tape. On it was an awful song called "Let the walls come down" I didn't listen to that tape for years because of it. However, I began listening to the other songs, and what a treasure! Thanks to CDs I can easily skip that ecumenical mess and get to some really wonderful songs. One of them is called "I am the Vine". It has a line that has stuck with me for ages. It says "Service is never the root of devotion, It must grow as the fruit of a life that remains on the Vine"
This is in no way knocking service. In fact, it is encouraging service. However, it makes it clear about our motivation.
So, I guess I could say that our Prime Directive will depend on our Prime Motivation.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Soulwinning and the Disney Store

When we were newly married, I worked for nine months at the Disney Store. I was having the time of my life. I got to work at a new store, and I was the first person that they hired. We had two days of training and it was a blast. We learned the Disney guest service cycle. Five steps to ensuring that we were exceeding guest expectation. Every month, we would receive two secret shoppers who would grade us on the guest service cycle. If we passed, we would get a 101 grade, and a Dalmation pin to prove it. Now, at that time, there were at least 2, maybe 3 cast members to wait on the guest. That meant that we had to use teamwork. One person alone could not follow through with all five steps. If the three cast members successfully achieved all five steps, the whole cast, all 44 of us, got pins.

During the first three months, we didn't make the grade. But one day, as I arrived, Stacey, one of our managers, approached me and told me that we had made the grade! And, that my name was on the report! Yay! We started thinking back, trying to determine who it had been. I remembered that lady. Why did I remember? Because she had actually allowed me to go through the process. Most people just responded to my inquiries with a polite "just looking" I knew not to push. We didn't want to alienate someone who could become a regular guest.

What does that have to do with soulwinning? Well, we don't have a guest service cycle, but we do have a Roman's Road. But often, as we get started, we receive a polite, "No thank you, just looking" response. In my opinion, this is the time to politely back off. Apparently, the Holy Spirit is not at work in this person at this time. I will leave a door open for next time, and I'll make sure that there is a "next time"

The good thing about this is that with us, we also must work in teams. One person greets and makes friends, another witnesses and invites, and yet another draws in the net when the person is ready. I just have to be ready and able to do my part for the team. If I've done my part, I must trust the next person to do theirs. There can be no manifestations of ego. We work together for the lost.

And when 1 soul is saved, its a victory for the whole Church.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Some thoughts on Soul Winning

Here in Lanco we love to win souls. We do some door-to-door, but find that generally unfruitful, except for making first contact. We have big events at the Church, but also find that relatively unfruitful in the long term. Why are those two tried-and-true methods not entirely useful here? Simple. It takes time for a seed to grow. Faith cometh by hearing. When we go door to door, the people we meet usually have no real idea about the truth of God. Well, you say, tell them! Yes, of course, and we do. But it takes time for truth to sink in. And even if they agree intellectually, spiritually it is close to impossible on a first try. So we take our time and let the Holy Spirit work. We don't get a lot of instant soul-winning gratification, but it has proven very effective in the long run.

We have been criticized recently by one of Neil's preacher boys for not being more agressive going door-to-door. He thinks thats the only biblically obedient way. But thats not true. We bring people, grown ups and children, to church, where we share the Gospel. We encourage everyone to share the truth with their friends and family. We find that the best, long-term results are from our people bringing their friends and loved ones who get saved (after a few visits) and stay.

I hate being criticized. This one is kind of hard to just shake off because our friend is insinuating that we aren't obedient to God and that we don't care for souls. Its insulting. If I didn't care for souls, I wouldn't be here!

Of course this young man is just that, young. And just a little bit full of himself. I will try to calm down, and not be hurt. I wish I could just shrug it off. And it is a reminder not to be judgemental. Just because I disagree with someone on the finer points of soul-winning, that doesn't mean that they are disinterested in souls or are disobedient. That is up for God to decide.

Winding down

For the moment.
Our guest is gone. We had a great visit and he is planning on returning to Chile with his family as soon as they can get the money together. That is exciting. The thought of haveing new missionaries is wonderful. I hope it works out.

We are expecting Julio, his wife and son this next Sat. Who is Julio? Well, he is a convert from El Bolson, Argentina, where we go on vacation. What do missionaries do on vacation? They witness, of course! We met Julio several years ago at the bowling alley. Neil left him a tract. The next year, we didn't see him at the bowling alley, but we did run into him at the supermarket. Then, the next year, Neil took several guys on a missions trip to El Bolson, found Julio, and were able to lead him to the Lord. We met up with Julio last month, visited with his family. Now they are coming here for a visit. I am no looking forward to more company, but this is important. Julio will be instrumental in starting a church in El Bolson.

Vanessa turned 5 months old, and I couldn't even take a picture. Our camera is broken. Boohoo! She changes so much, almost daily and we're missing it! She is charming and mostly sweet, but then her sin nature kicks in and we get to see her evil twin! Childrearing is not for the fainthearted, my friends!

My other children are neck deep in schoolwork, and none too happy about it.

Ladies' Bible study starts tomorrow. We are going to have a dinner for the opening. I am looking forward to ladies meeting, because I see the need for some instruction. I am seeing some miserable women who desperately need some hope for their family life. Without instruction, they will continue to do what they have always done, which hasn't worked out too good so far. As Dave Ramsey says "If you keep doing what you've been doing, then you are going to keep getting what you've been getting"
I want them to know that there is a better way, God's way. God's way is simple, of course. Hard, but simple. Please pray for my ladies.

So, that's what's going on here!

By the way, Hi JulieMom!!!!!