Refrigerator Famous

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One of the perks of furlough is times of special fellowship with friends while eating in their lovely homes or being taken out to restaurants. Last week, we visited a new restaurant (to us) with a friend. After we had ordered, the owner walked over to greet our friend. Then he turned to my husband and me and said, “We’ve never met, but I know you.” To which my husband replied, “From seeing us on refrigerators, right?” Yep, that was it!

So we are famous––refrigerator famous. Not sure that qualifies me to write a memoir. Well, perhaps I can write one, but whether it will find a publisher is questionable. You’ve probably heard the three requisites for getting a memoir published. You have to be either famous (refrigerator famous doesn’t count) or in my case as a missionary, you have to be martyred or kidnapped. Needless to say, I don’t qualify in any of those categories. Since the latter two are not on my bucket list, I think I’ll try another genre for my next published work.

But being biblically famous is on my bucket list.

2 Corinthians 8:18 (ESV)

“With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel.”

Another translation:

2 Corinthians 8:10-20 (MSG)

So here’s what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands. This isn’t so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you’re shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end, you come out even. As it is written,

Nothing left over to the one with the most,
Nothing lacking to the one with the least.

I thank God for giving Titus the same devoted concern for you that I have. He was most considerate of how we felt, but his eagerness to go and help out with this relief offering is his own idea. We’re sending a companion along with him, someone very popular in the churches for his preaching of the Message. But there’s far more to him than popularity. He’s rock-solid trustworthy. The churches handpicked him to go with us as we travel about doing this work of sharing God’s gifts to honor God as well as we can… 2 Corinthians 8:10-20 (MSG)

Two things on my biblical bucket list:

1. Being famous among all the churches for my preaching of the gospel.

2. Far more than popularity is being counted rock-solid trustworthy.

What’s on your biblical bucket list?

Ordinary People ~ Extraordinary Friends

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I am blessed with true friends. But, in an imperfect world–including the Christian world––we are hurt by friends. I’ve been hurt, and I guess maybe you have too.

There are many varieties of friends. Some stay forever, some just pass through your life for a season. All are a blessing or a lesson. Some tell you how to pack your bags while true friends ask how they can help pack your bags.

Which friend do you prefer––the teller or the asker? What if a friend insists on telling me how to pack my bags to return to Bolivia having never been there? Is that friend concerned about my needs or just opinionated––even in things they know nothing about? How do you react to such a friend? Maybe you have them! Maybe that person needs a true friend to learn how to become one. Can I be that friend? Can you?

“An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgement starts quarrels. Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” Proverbs 18:1-2 (NIV)

I don’t want to be unfriendly, do you? But we all have our opinions. If we daily become more like Jesus, can’t we become extraordinary friends by seeking God’s mind before speaking instead of blurting out our opinions?

I have friends who are extraordinary, and I’ve seen them do extraordinary things for God and me. They bless me, and they teach me how to be a true friend.

“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17:17 (NIV) I am a recipient of that love and friendship. I see Jesus in those friends whenever I am with them. They are always willing to sacrifice for others, and they radiate with the love of God. Oh, to learn from them and have others see Jesus in my life as I see Him in theirs.

When we arrived in the States last May, we had an apartment waiting for us. An old friend offered it to us free of charge. He said it needed to be cleaned because the previous renters had abused it. We expected to do the work it needed and eventually furnish it with the necessary things to make it livable for our five-month stay.

Two of our extraordinary friends picked us up at the airport at midnight and drove us home. An hour later, we climbed the 20 plus stairs to the apartment we’d call home for the next five months. We were prepared to live with the basic needs for such a short time period––a bed, a shower, and a microwave for the few meals we’d be eating on our own.

We opened the door. A cute little lamp shed a soft glow around the room. A cinnamon scent filled the air. We walked into a cozy room filled with furniture, curtains, and even decorated with adorable wall hangings and twinkle lights. We searched for words––I am never speechless––but none passed our upturned lips. We walked around the apartment taking in the incredible scene of hard work by extraordinary friends. The couple with us (extraordinary friends also) allowed us to drink in the moment. Kitchen fully equipped––cupboards filled with food, dishes, silverware, and basic needs in the frig. Bathroom––everything we needed, even toothbrushes and cleaning supplies and creams, shampoos, and candles and lacy curtains. Bedroom––a bed with a beautiful comforter and curtains to match and oh, did I mention, dressers, lamps, and even an ironing board and iron. Plus wall hangings, so cute and handmade with love.

We returned to the living room and noticed one more detail previously missed. If you haven’t shed a tear yet you will now, get your tissue. Above the couch, a wall hanging made of an old window frame, just adorable. But wait, there are photos hanging by clothespins on twine in each windowpane. They are photos of our grandkids, our kids, our animals, and even a few of our ministry. I felt warm, moist drops of joy fall over my cheeks. We were home!

Who does this sort of thing? Extraordinary friends! They are ordinary people who are extraordinary friends. I am learning to be a friend. I may be an ordinary person, but I want to become an extraordinary friend. I have the best example to follow. His name is Jesus. I see Him in the acts of my extraordinary friends.

What kind of friend are you? Will you strive to be an extraordinary friend?

Convenience or Commitment?

 

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Do you agree with the two friends in this cartoon? In a way, I see their point, but I don’t agree entirely with them about friendship. I agree it is a blessing to meet a friend after a long separation and feel as though we never parted. That “feeling” is commitment––true friendship. But, three words stand out in this cartoon. Happiness. Feelings. Changed. Nothing’s changed––so say the friends, but time does change things.

True friends accept the changes in us because they are committed to us. Friendship doesn’t depend on feelings but commitment. Shouldn’t we be changing daily? Isn’t our goal to become more like Jesus? We all change––for the good and for the not so good. It’s our choice. So what’s the secret to lasting friendships?

Relationships will change over time. Hopefully, our relationship with God is changing––drawing closer to Him every day and becoming more like Jesus moment by moment. Change is good according to the Word of God. So why impede it? Probably because it’s hard to change but easy––convenient–– to stay the same.

Human love is convenient. We choose our friends because they fit well with us. It’s easy to be with them so it doesn’t take much effort to enjoy them. It’s convenient. It’s comfortable. But is our friendship committed? Are we there for them when their lives change––for good or bad.

God’s love is committed. His love isn’t based on feelings, although He has feelings toward us. He decides to love us regardless of our actions. Do we choose to stay committed to our friends even when they change or their circumstances change? How do we choose to cheer them on and not leave them for more convenient relationships? If they move away, stay in touch. If cancer strikes, don’t abandon them. Pray them through the hard times, and actively participate in their lives. It’s not convenient, but we decide to commit to them. And, we shouldn’t be absent when they succeed but celebrate with them.

Is there a moment in time when you move on from a friendship? Of course. If that friendship is destructive, by all means confront the situation, get help, and move on if it can’t be resolved. God never intends for us to be abused––mentally or physically or spiritually. Seek help, don’t stay if the other party doesn’t change. We shouldn’t stoop to their level, instead forgive them and walk away. Paul moved on from a relationship that couldn’t be worked out. It hurts, but God will fill the void.

I confronted such a relationship in my life. After many years of trying to work out an unhealthy relationship, I walked away. The person wouldn’t come to the table to work it out. I chose to not allow it to rob me of my joy. I knew I had tried everything possible to restore that friendship. But, if someone constantly criticizes you, hurts you, insults you, or even tries to destroy your friendships with others, it’s time to walk away. Don’t let the relationship destroy you.

“Friends can destroy one another, but a loving friend can stick closer than family.” Proverbs 18:24

There’s the secret––a loving friend! A loving friend is a committed friend. A lasting friendship is the result of love and commitment. Happy friends. Yes! True contentment. One day, we’ll meet our Best Friend face to face. Let’s strive to be a friend like Him until then. If so, we’ll enjoy heavenly friendships on earth––I’m blessed and thankful to have many of them.

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How are your friendships changing? Do you choose your friends for convenience? Is it time to let go of an unhealthy friendship? Cling to the positive relationships––embrace, engage, and empower change.

Let’s be a loving friend––a committed friend. And, let’s learn from the Best Friend ever. He’s committed! He never changes. He is our Best Friend Forever––literally!

Stop and Go

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In a distance, birds chirped their morning concert. Gazing at the clock, I debated––crawl out of my cozy, warm bed or watch the sunrise through the lacy curtains. The orange sun poked over the mountain, and the stars faded into the dawn. Too late to pull the covers over my head and drift back to sleep. My eyes begged to close, but my brain raced with the daily tasks at hand. Rising early would usher me into a quiet time with the Lord––I hoped.

I’m not a morning person. I prefer to be quiet in the morning except for talking to the Lord. You won’t find me exercising, enjoying a morning conversation on the phone, or turning on the TV. Unless the calendar says get going out the door for an appointment, meeting, class, a hospital emergency or other work-related commitments, I’ll relish the time at home. Now don’t misunderstand, you won’t find me on the couch. I’ll be chomping at the bit to get in gear. Cleaning and laundry will most likely steal my attention from the computer that beckons me to catch up on correspondence and my writing schedule.

Watching from afar, you’d wonder how I do it all. A mystery to me also, but I do have help––supernatural help. The word “still” doesn’t compute in my thought pattern. Not unless I choose to get my Bible and head to my cozy spot in a corner of my house where I enter my God Nook. Oh, how I love that place. So why don’t I rush more often to that special place? Too Busy. But, is it necessary to get to my nook in order to meet with God? What does it mean to be still?

Do you go on a guilt trip when you see a photo such as the one above? When you saw it, did you suddenly grab your Bible and whisk away to a quiet place where you stared into space with still no peace? You’re not alone. Where does the guilt come from? You know––the enemy. Until we find that peaceful place, we go in circles.

Until we stop, we can’t be still. Until our minds stop, we can’t focus on the One who stopped His earthly life when He went to the cross for us. He chose us. We can stop and choose Him. Choose to stop and focus fully on Him. Then we are still. Then our soul finds rest. “My soul finds rest in God alone.” Psalm 62:1

For many of us, slowing down is work. It’s natural for us to run, move, go, but it’s unnatural for us to slow down, stop, breathe. However, it’s possible to find that cozy nook anywhere–anytime, and for any amount of time. Just focus on God and nothing else.

There’s nothing wrong with being busy, being active, being on the go––except, we often never stop.

Where I grew up, we had Stop and Go stores. Maybe you did too. We stopped, got what we needed, filled up our tank and our stomachs, then continued on.

Stop. It seems simple, but yet it’s the hardest thing to do.

Practice these steps: Stop. Look. Listen. Breathe. Go.

Take time to focus on God in your God Nook––wherever that might be. Stop for a few minutes or an hour, look into His face, listen to His voice, breathe in His majesty, and then go. But, make it a habit to stop often. Know He is God. Bask in His presence.

Let’s stop, get filled up, and go shine His light in the world.

Faithful Feathers

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Have you ever seen God’s wings or heard His feathers flap? I have!

As we traveled from meeting to meeting and church to church over the last five months, I shared this story whenever I had the opportunity. Maybe you’ve heard it, maybe not. If you have, I hope it made you realize how faithful our God is to meet our needs––even through condors. Maybe you haven’t heard it yet. Allow me to share it again in print for those who missed it.

Two years ago my husband had Shingles. They healed in the usual amount time, about three weeks. Soon after, he collapsed in severe pain. Not knowing if he was having a heart attack or stroke, we rushed him to a clinic here in Cochabamba. That severe, excruciating pain lasted three to four hours. The doctors had given him all the drugs possible without compromising his health in other ways––I doubted they were doing all they could to relieve this unbearable pain. But, at least we knew it wasn’t a heart attack or stroke.

Finally, after hours of suffering, the pain began to subside to some degree. Little did we know at the time that this pain would continue for six months because of a damaged nerve in Chuck’s back caused by the Shingles. I couldn’t believe the first words to slip through his lips as he looked up into my eyes. “I am so hungry for a pizza.” Not what I expected to hear from a man who just came through this painful ordeal. How could I refuse such a request? Here where we live, we don’t have all the pizza shops one has access to in the USA so I went home to make a pizza and fulfill this suffering man’s wish.

Fifteen years ago, while we were building our house, I insisted on having a big window in my kitchen. Looking out that window is a magnificent view of the mountain behind our house. Living in a foreign country without much access to fast food restaurants or even nearby restaurants, I spend many hours in the kitchen. I also teach teen girls baking and cooking classes, so much of my time is spent in my kitchen. I love my kitchen, and I love that window––even more so now than I could have ever imagined because of what I saw that day when I went home to make the love of my life a pizza.

As I whipped up the dough, I glanced out at that beautiful view through the bay window. It’s a rocky mountain, dry and brown most of the time, but nevertheless a view of God’s beautiful creation in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. But this day, I didn’t notice the mountain view. I saw a view of God. One that I had never before seen.

There, half way up the mountain sitting on a large, flat rock, sat two huge birds. Now, we’ve lived in our house 15 years and only once before had we seen a condor on this mountain. Condors are the Bolivian national bird––a rare site. I rushed for the binoculars and quickly returned to catch a glimpse of what I thought were condors. If you know nothing about condors, let me describe the size of this beautiful bird for you. They are on average four feet tall and have a wingspan of 10 feet. Amazing creatures. Gigantic birds!

Fumbling, I rushed to place the binoculars over my eyes. Then, I saw them. Yes, they were condors without a doubt. I stood in awe of these beautiful birds created by an awesome God. But that’s not all. As I stood gazing with pure delight at what I was witnessing, something even more awesome happened. Both birds, at precisely the same time, spread their wings and stood there looking like statues. I could hardly breathe. God’s beautiful creation stood on a mountaintop showing all His glory. A few verses came to mind. Psalms 91:3-5 “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and your rampart.”

I knew those birds were there for me. I was alone that day. I knew people were praying for us, but no one had any idea what we were going through at that moment. But, God knew. I wasn’t alone in the scary situation that faced us. God was with us both. I felt God’s love around me. His feathers squeezing me. His wings protecting me. I looked at those birds standing there, wings spread, and knew God had me under His wings as He did Chuck. But, not only was there one bird––a rare site in itself––but two birds–of course, one for Chuck and one for me. I saw those wings and I heard those feathers. I saw God through condors, and I knew God would take care of us. I rested, snuggled under His wings and surrounded by His faithful feathers.

The depth of God’s love is unimaginable. He shows us His love daily, even through condors. He covers us with His wings always. He shows Himself to us in the condor moments. Expect the condor moments. Don’t miss them. Look up, see God’s wings and hear the flapping of His faithful feathers.

Turkey Tales

images-2   The turkey tales I have to tell don’t resemble the beautiful turkey in this picture, but they do hold a special spot in my heart. The first, because it was the first turkey I ever tried to cook––two months after my wedding day. The second because it was my son’s turkey––placed in my freezer without my knowledge. I have many precious memories to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1 (NIV) As the years pass,

I realize that it is a blessing to be able to remember. These two turkey tales weren’t funny at the time, but I can’t help but chuckle each time I remember them now. After many years of eating turkey, I suddenly developed an allergy to the bird. I don’t look forward to turkey on Thanksgiving now––unless I want to look like Frankenstein or meet the Lord face to face. After two reactions, it was certain I had an allergy to turkey. I don’t want to have those encounters with turkeys again. But, I’ve also had other encounters with turkeys.

I now have experience cooking turkeys, but as a new bride I didn’t. I looked forward to cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner that year. Far away from our hometown, we celebrated alone but not as we planned. My husband was in the Air Force, and we lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now you may think that was glamorous, but it wasn’t. We lived on an airman’s salary and buying a turkey was a big expense for the special day. We got up early, and together we made the stuffing, packed it in the bird and shoved it in the oven. After a few hours, we checked the bird. We thought it strange that there was no wonderful aroma coming from the oven, and looking at it––well, it was still raw. Two hours more should do it––we reasoned. We closed the oven door and waited.

The table looked lovely with my wedding gifts of silver, crystal, and candlesticks placed on the perfectly pressed tablecloth. The potatoes were cooking, and the red cranberry sauce contrasted the green linen tablecloth––my decorating skills were developing. If only that turkey would cooperate. It didn’t. After nine hours in the oven, it was tough and still not cooked. We were so disappointed that we took that bird for a long drive in the Nevada desert and threw it out of the convertible we were driving. Good riddens! Did we ever know what happened? Never! But, I can tell you that story has been told over and over and usually it sounds as though the cook messed up. I will never agree––it must have been the oven! My first turkey–tough and uncooked! That bird still haunts me today––every time its story is told. FYI, every turkey I’ve baked since has exited my oven thoroughly cooked and delicious!

The second turkey tale involves our son. We were new missionaries on the field and had just purchased a freezer, a big deal in those days–30 years ago. We had chickens in the freezer, and at this point in my life I had learned to cook. But, cooking in Bolivia is different. Because of the altitude, everything takes longer to cook. I took the bird out of the freezer, thawed it, and put it in a pot to boil. I checked that bird every hour, and every hour it seemed less cooked than more. Memories of that first turkey were still haunting me. I wondered what this bird had against me. After six hours in the pot––you guessed it––it met its fate in the mountains of Bolivia. But, this story has an ending that was resolved.

Our son had gone hunting and killed a wild turkey. Wild Bolivian turkeys are the same size as chickens. He never told me the turkey was in our freezer. And, I didn’t know it was a wild turkey or the secrets of cooking this exotic Bolivian bird. But, I did find out why that so-called chicken never cooked––because it wasn’t a chicken at all. Unlike the Nevada turkey, I do have an excuse for the Bolivian turkey. I hope your turkey isn’t a repeat of my turkey tales this Thanksgiving. It wasn’t funny at the time, but they are good, funny memories now. We have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. Good and funny memories are a blessing to be thankful for too. Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you make some good turkey tales on this special day––especially funny ones.

God’s Masterpiece

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To some degree, I resemble the lady on the unicorn. I can understand why I might be viewed in that way. As a children’s writer, I live in a fantasy world much of the time. And, I’m quite content to be there. I might not be thought of as a work of art but rather a “piece of work.” Smile here. But, I am a work of art, God’s work of art. And, so are you! But, what my neighbor once accused me of being totally shattered my world at the time.

A knock at my door. I opened it to find my neighbor from across the hall glaring at me with malice in her eyes. She came to say, “You are such a phony. No one could smile as much as you do and be real.”

True story. We were in our last semester of our missionary training when my neighbor, a new student and young mother, felt led of God to minister to me on a biblical principle she had just discovered. Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained a brother.” (ESV)

At the time, I wished she’d kept that verse to herself, but God knew the exact words I needed to grow in Him.

The conversation went something like this. My neighbor blurted, “How can you smile so much? I watch you every day and there it is–that smile. Get real! This missionary training is the pits. How can you be happy here?”

My reply, “Thank you for sharing that with me. I’ll work on it.” Although I was thinking, Lady, you’re a piece of work. But in my heart, I knew she was God’s work of art, and He was trying to teach me something through her.

And, work on it I did. My heart was bruised and my ego too. For the next few weeks, I walked around campus with a straight face. Have you ever tried not to smile? When a fellow student greeted me, I puckered my face, mumbled a reply, and tried to not be that phony person my neighbor detested. I became a complete phony while trying not to show my glistening teeth to anyone. After a few horrible weeks, I realized what a phony I had become by not smiling.

God had no intention for me to stop smiling. It wasn’t a sin to smile, but He did teach me to not be a people pleaser but rather to please Him. By being ourselves, we allow God to chisel out our areas that need to be tweaked by Him. Then and only then, are we free to be all He wants us to be and shine for Him in our own unique way.

Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

God didn’t want me to quit smiling, but He did want me to be sensitive to the needs of others––especially my neighbor. She became a good friend when I noticed she wasn’t smiling and needed a friend to help her through the difficult time she was going through with young children and the pressures of classes and homework. I listened to her, and she gained a friend (brother). I didn’t need to quit smiling, but she did need a friend. And, I needed to learn how to be a friend. God used me just as I was––fearfully and wonderfully made––and smiling.

How about you? What attributes has God given you to bless others? We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. He has a purpose for each of us so that the world will see His wonderful works through us and turn to Him. Even if people see you as delusional––riding a unicorn––or phony because you smile too much, He has a purpose for you and will use you because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. So be yourself! Allow God to use you––just the way He made you. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s workmanship,” the Greek word for workmanship means work of art. We are His work of art! Thank Him for planning each detail of His creation––His masterpiece––YOU!

“Don’t change so people will like you.
Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.” ~ author unknown

Our Bumps are In His Grip

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“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I am your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” Isa. 41:10 (MSG)

My year started out with a bump. A small bump on my head developed into a small tumor––thankfully benign. It caused me to ponder what the next steps would have been if the results had been different. When I look at the tiny bald spot now growing into a crew-cut spot, I am reminded that we aren’t promised tomorrow. That bump has motivated me to once again cherish every day as I feel His grip––a firm grip.

Then, just last week, came another bump–-this time on my eyelid. “I’m with you,” echoed in my heart. To remove it, I had to be admitted to the clinic again. Benign, again! Whew, thank you, Lord! What next?

This week, our Golden, Jake developed a bump on his neck. Another bump! Three years ago, Jake had an aggressive cancerous tumor removed from his tail. He’s been doing fine until this week. I was already concerned about our animals since we will be leaving Bolivia this month for a five month furlough. The bump turned out to be a calcium deposit, not another cancerous tumor. What was God trying to tell me through the bumps? Maybe, “Don’t panic, I’ve got this!”

Leaving Bolivia is never easy for me. But, the joy that waits on the other end motivates me to pack and step foot on that plane. Oh, did I mention I don’t like to fly either? Missionaries don’t have extraordinary powers or sail through life as if on a magic carpet. However, they have an extraordinary God who gives them strength and power to do His will. His Word says, “I’ll help you.”

These bumps seem like baby bumps after the fact, but going through them I felt like they were big bumps. But, our God is bigger than any bump life can bring, and He holds us steady through them.

One other bump has occurred here at our mission base, Rumi Rancho. This bump makes it hard for us to leave Bolivia at this time, but furlough is set in motion and it’s been four years since our last furlough. Time to go.

This one is a joyous nine month Baby Bump. Our Quechua couple who lives here on the property with us will welcome a gift from heaven on June 10th. Juan and Amelia will need lots of prayer as they welcome a new baby and at the same time have the responsibility of the ministry while we are gone. But we know God will help them, and He’ll hold them steady as we head to our homeland on May 28th.

We are blessed by God’s promise that through the bumps, He has a firm grip on us!

Cracked Light-Bearers

image1Imperfection is the prerequisite for grace. Light only gets in through the cracks. ~ Philip Yancey

When we are home (in the States) we get invited to speak often. Often meaning about every day. We try to keep a full schedule because our time is limited usually to four months to fit in all our visits. Sometimes we speak in churches or places we’ve never been before. One Sunday, we were speaking in a new church to us. It was the first time we’d been to this beautiful church with beautiful people inside. We didn’t know many people, in fact,  just one family, so I told Chuck I’d better tone down my personality for this.

He said, “Just be yourself.”

“Honestly,” I answered. So I was. Actually, I don’t know how to be anything else.

After the service as we were shaking hands, a sweet lady turned to Chuck and said, “Is she always like this?”

He replied, “No, sometimes she’s not so reserved.” That brought laughs. He’s a funny guy when I give him time to speak. 🙂

Aren’t we all a little cracked? Okay, some of us more so than others. We know who we are. 🙂 God made us the way we are. Our cracks can be used of Him to let His light shine through! Not so bad to be cracked, huh?

Jesus said, “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand––shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matt 5:14-16 (MSG)

Why Write?

IMG_0321 2~ Rabbit Smiles ~

While sitting at the dentist last week, I met these two sweeties. I asked their names, and I was shocked when they began speaking in English. Their mother explained they were attending an English-speaking school in the city. By their appearance, I could tell they had advantages that the majority in Bolivia only dream of having. Even visiting a dentist is a privilege for most children in a developing country such as Bolivia.

When I began writing, I wrote for my grandchildren who live thousands of miles away from me. God enlarged my vision to write not only for my grandchildren but children everywhere. I know I am called to write for children. And, I am blessed to write for the privileged and underprivileged, and to those outside the borders of the United States and Bolivia. I thought my books could only be used of God in the Spanish language for Bolivian children. My vision was small, God’s vision, however, is global and includes all languages.

Although children such as these––who speak English in a Spanish speaking country––are in the minority, they need the gospel also. Every day God opens doors to minister to those waiting to hear of His love––whatever their age, whatever their circumstances, and wherever we live. We can speak and write words that will change lives––God’s words.

Why write? For moments like this!

“People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:15-17 (NIV)