Tuesday, October 30, 2012

one about work

Today I'm at home doing my over and over again work; I've noticed that when I go away and come back home, the work waits - and sometimes the work multiplies.

 Neil and Carol Anderson lived and worked among the Folopa people of Papua New Guinea. They invested 20 years recording the Folopa language and translating the Scriptures. I love reading their story, In Search of the Source.

"The ground will produce thorns. . .by the sweat of your brow you will eat your bread." (Genesis 3:19)
By the sweat of your brow?. . . the Folopa language helpers were perplexed, related to work these words meant nothing; the Folopa don't associate sweat with work- in the tropics one sweats just sitting.

However, the Folopa  understood the curse, clearing the ground for gardens, fighting back the jungle-  
We have to keep at it. . .sweet potatoes, yams, taro, don't grow by themselves-muscles stretch, teeth clench, throats grunt, digging heaving, hauling, we burst our stomachs. . .

So Neil Anderson translated Genesis 3:19 and the Folopa understood, "No longer will your food just come up by itself, but by bursting your stomachs you will do your work. . ."

And me? well, sometimes I work by the sweat of my brow- but not often, nor do I burst my stomach with work (except in childbirth). But I know the futility of work in a world broken by sin and long for the day when our King will make all things new. . .
So- I keep at it, fighting back the jungle (my old house), fighting back the resistance of my flesh.
 and sometimes I wonder, Why is it pleasant to do work at your house and not so to work at my own? 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

His benefits

I left home early Tuesday morning-off to Bible study but feeling ill prepared and heavy. . ..
I'm memorizing Psalm 103, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of his benefits."

And the morning was sweet. . .I lead the study and the women shared themselves-they contributed personal insights.  I received the benefits-

". . .do what is right without being frightened by any fear." (1 Pet 3:6)
one dear woman applied that truth to her own life, so personally.
And that was for me. . ."Soul, forget none of His benefits."

Monday, October 22, 2012

satisfied with his likeness

A young woman talks to me about a relationship- she tells me about longing and honest emotion. . . questions and confusion.
And last week after a struggling night, she awoke remembering-

As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with  Your likeness. (Ps 17:15)

So, today I remember the psalmist's words- and make them my own; it's hard- sometimes I want comfort instead of his likeness.
I tell my young friend to trust God- He's creating beauty in her, just as He promised.
And so I remind myself. . .
As for me, I shall behold Your face. . .I shall be satisfied with Your likeness.

Friday, October 12, 2012


  Here in south Texas my garden is blooming pink, purple, yellow, blue. . .the fig vine creeps steadily up the corner of my house and the basil leaves are huge and glossy amid the broccoli and cauliflower.
There's beauty in Texas. . .but this week I'm thinking a lot about the exquisite beauty of GRACE.
because I met Kerry--a few weeks ago God saved her from decades of bondage to a false religion, a religious system based on works, devoid of grace--now Kerry's eyes are open to the beautiful Savior.
 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need,
We read from God's Word and tears coursed down. . . .
I've known God's grace for decades. . .but to see afresh the incomparable beauty-

Thursday, October 4, 2012

a walk in . . .

We spent 5 nights in Tetela in a rustic cabin - perfect for a family of 5 plus the grandparents.

I arrived in Mexico City with a neat row of stitches across my forehead and instructions to have the stitches removed within the next week.
 I noticed a medical office in the subway station in Mexico City, but decided to wait.  . .John offered to remove my stitches, but I decided to find a doctor.
So-one afternoon in Tetela I strolled into town and found a doctor sign next to the pharmacy in the plaza.
When I inquired in the pharmacy, the clerk called out to the street and a man, young and hip, greeted me on the sidewalk. We shook hands and I explained my situation, "How much will you charge me?" I asked.
"No worries," he said and ushered me through the small office door.
He went to work on my stitches and we talked; I learned about his family, his medical training and work in the villages, his concern for the poor.
He had almost finished the job when I noticed his medical coat hanging on the wall-white and starched, his name above the pocket.
"Ahh, Doctor Christian," I said. "Your name is significant for me since I am a Christ follower!"
"Are you a Christian?" he asked.
"Yes, and you?"
I'm devout. . .we're having a saint dedication in the plaza this evening, you should come," he invited.
"Do you read the Bible?" I asked. "Jesus was the great Physician. . ."
 "My computer is my Bible," he said.
Next door in the pharmacy I payed my bill-$3.50. . ."We don't charge much here," said the doctor.
I heard John waiting for me on the sidewalk.
 "Doctor, Jesus is the Bread of Life, the Living Water. . ."
Search for Him.