Monday, August 24, 2009

We're here!

Hello, blogger buddies and faithful readers! I am glad that you stopped by!
As of my last post we -- my family and I -- were preparing to leave for the States. Well, we are now in the States and staying with some very good friends in Tucson, AZ.

Our trip was wonderful! We had no incidents, no excessive heat (praise God!), no delays, pleasant company and great sermons to listen to all the way up! The night before we left Mexico several friends stopped by to send us off. After they left I stayed up for a bit cleaning and getting food ready for the trip (just so that I don't take all of the credit, Annette did help with the food :P ). I think that I ended up going to bed at like 12am ... though it might have been 12:30am ... I don't remember *smiles sheepishly*.

About 15 minutes after I fell asleep -- it was more than that, but it sure felt like 15 minutes -- I felt my Mom shaking my shoulder telling me that it was time to get up. IT should have been quick to get out of the house, but there are always those "last minute details" that seem to take forever! We finally left the house at 4:30am.

Later that day I was commenting to my Mom that it always seemed so much easier to get out of the house when she and my Dad would get everything done and then wake me up when the van was running and we were ready to walk out the door. Now that I am older my Mom wakes me up earlier so that I can help her do the last minute stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to help out and I really do like organizing... but not so much at 3am! ;^D

Anyhow, we arrived in Tucson at 7pm, just in time for supper, and got settled in. The next day we had volunteered to help some friends of ours move. We had a great time getting to know all of the people who showed up to help and just fellowshipping with the friends who we hadn't seen in months. I firmly believe that the best way of getting to really know someone is working beside them... it can show you what the person is really like when they are sweating and out of breath yet still have a smile on their face!

On Sunday we rose early to attend church. My Dad was teaching that Sunday so I had the privilege of hearing the message that God had given him. God used his Word powerfully and I know that more than a few lives were touched and challenged. After the service some friends of ours invited us over for lunch. We had American style taco salad... it really tastes nothing like what I now consider a true "taco salad" but I liked it equally well, if not more! Annette (she is another missionary from Mexico who "hitched a ride" up with us. She'll be staying with us for a week or two) and I decided that as long as you don't consider the food that is called "Mexican food" as authentic, it tastes great!

Anyway, back the events of the day! At four o'clock all of us went over to the church for a picnic. I for one had an absolute blast! We played games, hung out, made new friends, caught up with old ones, ate hamburgers (I liked that part :D), and had a great time! Some of the games that they played were very interesting. There was the water balloon toss -- you can't have a picnic in the summer without that -- then the water balloon fight -- I still have a big bruise on my back where someone pegged me with a balloon that didn't pop -- then a game called "Wink'em" in which you make a fool of yourself by diving to the ground to avoid getting tagged (if you want a more detailed explanation than that you'll have to write me and ask me to explain it better! ;P ). Finally, we played a game called "Kijawbie" (don't quote me on the spelling). In this game everyone (well, we divided it into a team of boys and a team of girls) forms a circle with a little piece of rope with a know on each end between every person.
In the center of the circle you place a garbage can (plastic). On the count of three the whole group starts rotating around the can while trying to make someone else either lose grip on one of their ropes or touch the can. The object of the game: be the last one standing. The rules: no yanking, biting or kicking; anything else goes. The game was brutal! To my great surprise I ended up the last of two standing. The other girl won, but by the time the game was over all I wanted to do was flop down on the grass and stay there -- which I did ;) . If you will believe it, the game that I participated in lasted almost 20 minutes. Can you imagine? 20 minutes of feeling like you hands were going to fall off! I am sure feeling it today! Still, it was enough fun to make up for the aching shoulders and sore legs that I woke up with this morning!!

Today my parents and I went and applied for my passport. It didn't really take very long except for getting my photos. My Dad took me to Walgreens early to do that. I liked how the picture turned out, but my Dad says that it looks like a mugshot because I didn't smile. I replied that if he would have told me that you could smile, I might have! Then again, if I was completely content with the picture it would be just weird! lol

Alright, I think that I have got you all pretty much up to speed. I will only add that God has been wonderfully, amazingly, completely faithful in my life! He is so good and I can naught but praise Him! I hope that you have a blessed day!

Isaiah 40

21 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
24 Scarcely have they been planted,
Scarcely have they been sown,
Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And the storm carries them away like stubble.
25 "To whom then will you liken Me
That I would be his equal?" says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

God is at work 24/7

Good day to you! Today is Saturday the 15 and it is a beautiful morning! God had be marvelously good to me in these past few weeks. I am falling more and more in love with Him day by day!
Don't get me wrong, struggles still come -- and have come in these past weeks -- but it is such a blessed assurance to know that God is always there with you and never abandones you!

Preparations for our departure to the States continue. We are planning to Thursday morning early -- like 3am. Keep us in prayer!

Our weather here has been in a constant state of change. It has never really gotten cold, but we did have one day that was moderately warm rather than extremely hot. One night you are so sweaty that you can't get to sleep and the next you are sleeping with a blanket!?!? It's because of the storm systems up in the mountains... but as long as the coolness lasts I will not complain!
But you know, even the heat can be a blessing. Sure it's hard to deal with and sweating all the time isn't exactly my ideal, but it really tests your patience and God has used it to show me how my attitude is -- it's really hard to hide a bad attitude in frustrating heat and while doing hard work. The only way to avoid striking out in anger in a frustrating situation is to not have anger in your heart to begin with. For, as the Scripture says:

Luke 6:45
"The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is
good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for
his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

So, if I want to be a blessing to others it has to start with me first!

Last week we went to Los Mochis and while we were there a huge storm hit. Since it was raining too hard for us to drive home we ended up staying the night with some friends. I had never had that happen before, so for me the experience was unique! -- One thing that I absolutely love about Mexico are the thunder storms. They are AMAZING! We get winds and rain, but above all we get lightning and thunder! The lightning strikes and then... CRASH! The thunder sounds! My personal favorites are the storms where the thunders sounds something like a whip. Perhaps this is strange of me, but I can't help it. Every time I hear the thunder it just makes me think of how awesome and powerful a God I serve. The trees and plants might show His beauty, but the thunder and brilliant lightning show His might! -- Anyway, back to what I was saying...

We were originally in Los Mochis to visit with some of our friends and also to attend the youth meeting. The week that we were there the youth pastor had decided to show a video instead of giving a message. I really appreciated the sermon. It was called Return to Christianity but you can find it on Youtube under The Shocking Youth Message (Paul Washer). It was the most moving and convicting sermon that I have ever heard from a man. God used him powerfully.
There was one phrase in particular at the beginning that really caught my attention. Paul was talking about how watered down Christians and Christianity had become in the States. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was something to the effect of "we have forgotten what true Christianity is and we need to change" and after he said that everyone applauded and some people even whistled. When the applause had died down, Paul look out over the audience and said, "I don't know what you are applauding about; I am talking about you." Ouch.
I recommend the video as an hour well spent. Even if you don't agree with everything that he has to say it really makes you think and, more importantly, examine yourself.

Alright, now I have done! I will try and get back on here soon with pictures... we'll see how soon "soon" really is!
May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding be with you all!