Update from Spain: Day Six

When we woke up this morning, we didn’t know if we would have any energy left. I know for me, when my alarm went off, I wanted to break my iPhone. Ha.

After a shorter breakfast time, we had our morning devotion and orientation. Jeremy started us off with a devotion from John 18. He touched on two points: Christ’ humanity and God’s forgiveness. Christ, the God-man, empathized with our humanity. Peter betrayed him, yet he pursued Peter and forgave him.

IMG_0606

Next, we (and our new good friend Tere) went to the rehab center to spend the day with Jon’s friends there. In the morning, we were split up in small groups. Each group was assigned to one of the guys. Our goal was to serve them. We cleaned windows, floors, rooms, and flower beds. We also fed the animals. Well, that was just Nate. Lucky.

Around 2pm, we had lunch as one big group. This time, the guys put on a traditional Spanish cookout! The food was delicious. We sat around a table and had a great time of fun and relaxation. In fact, Kiersten and I harmonized to a Maroon 5 song. Fun fact: Spaniards play American popular music on their radio stations. We went on a 2-hour hike. It was hot and challenging, but it gave an opportunity to connect with the guys on a personal level.

Later on in the afternoon (because 7pm is still afternoon in Spain), we had back-to-back English hours with two different groups. First, we reunited with Rachel and her academy students near a local park. Instead of playing soccer, we played an information game. Topics such as stereotypes and embarrassing moments brought smiles to our faces. Second, we met up with Seth at a local bar to help some Spaniards practice speaking English. They did a wonderful job. It’s been great to continue developing and deepening our friendships with the Spaniards we’ve met!

We ate dinner at Seth & Crystal’s apartment and finished the day with a testimony, and our reflections on chapter 5 of the book we are reading together as a team. This was our longest day on the trip. Yet, we are already seeing the fruits of our labor. Jon and Lorena have been encouraged by our team. They even affirmed us by letting us know that we have done exactly was he was hoping for us to do. That is SUCH a blessing for us! Thank YOU for your support in making this happen, in aiding these missionaries in the work God has called them too.

Here are prayer requests from our team:

  • Physical and mental strength
    • Hydration (AQUA!)
    • ALLERGIES!
  • Connect more with the teens/students
  • Lorena’s health and baby (Praise, she’s fine)
  • Jon, Lorena, Seth, and Crystal’s need for friends’ and supporters’ encouragement and care

For the Team,

Chris

When They are Hard to Love

1208150659a

For the family member that purposefully pushes each of your buttons.

For the broken friend that speaks harshly in every circumstance.

For the co-worker who irks you.

For the neighbor you try to ignore.

For the person you struggle to love.

Pray.

Pray for them over and over and over again. Pray for their day and their heart and their circumstance.  Pray for their joy, their holiness, their faith. Pray for God to give you His eyes to see them, and His heart to love them.

Prayer may change them, but it will absolutely change you.

Talk Yourself Out of Lies

I was recently praying to the Lord about my future-my desires, my heartaches, my deeps hope that only He and I know about. After expressing them to Him, I ended with “not my will, but yours be done” and I started to cry. I cried because I was scared that God’s will looks very different than what I hoped for my life. I cried because I feared God’s will would be difficult and painful and possibly opposite of me getting what I want so badly.

And then I stopped myself, and asked God to search my heart.

I was quietly speaking and believing lies to myself. My tears said: “My desire is for my comfort and happiness. If God is good and loves me deeply, then He should go after that for me because I know what’s best for me. But I fear that God is not good and his love for me not deep enough to care about my heartache or my pains. He might, in fact, PURPOSEFULLY make it difficult or opposite if what I want”.  That’s what my heart believed in that moment!

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit who resides in me fought those lies with truth from Scripture. I then thought:

“…YOU God, are the ultimate joy, prize, and satisfaction (Ps. 16:11). Getting ____________ is NOT what will “make or break” my life-KNOWING AND LOVING YOU will. If I seek you-I WILL find you (Matt. 7:7), and in finding you, getting to know how amazing you are will be ABOVE and beyond all I could imagine (Eph. 3:20). And you’ve already promised me you’ll be here-you’ll never leave me (Heb. 13:5). You’ll not stop loving me, and everything you do is good and right (Rom. 8:28-19). Your will is PERFECT! (Ps. 18:30) You’ll fulfill and satisfy me, direct me, and give me EVERYTHING I need (Phil. 4:19)”.

This is the Word of the Lord; thanks be to God.

One of my burdens right now in life is singleness. Maybe yours is a wayward child, or a jobless future, or an unloving spouse. As you run to God with your desires for the future, remember to combat any lies that sneak into your heart. Any doubts that creeps in that tells you God isn’t good, or isn’t working-need to be immediately fought with truth from Scripture and a reminder of the eternity to come. I ended my prayer like this:

“Oh dear Father. Please help me not to get tangled up in lies and distracted by thoughts about a possible (but not guaranteed) future marriage. Because I AM guaranteed a wedding and a groom-a PERFECT one-Christ in glory. I have salvation! Forgiveness of sins! I am your daughter! Knowing, believing, and clinging to THAT truth will propel me through all seasons of doubt, loneliness, rejection, or whatever else. Because even if you see fit to allow me to endure suffering through singleness for the rest of my life-I’ll choose to believe that you always give what is best for me. YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE WORTH IT. YOU WILL SATISFY.”

“There are no disappointments to those who wills are buried in the will of God.” Frederick William Faber

When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head. ~ Charles Spurgeon: When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head. ~ Charles Spurgeon

Probably the Best Quote You’ll Read Today…

As you may know, I am a quote junkie. It’s almost embarrassing how often I’ll insert quotes into conversations-but I find them so succient, helpful, and well-said! The one I’m bringing to you today is one of my absolute favorites! It is a beautiful prayer by A.W. Tozer that I often use to start my time in the Word, or to prep my heart for church on Sunday mornings. May it stir your affections for Christ and deepen your desire to fellowship with Him.

“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.”

I Love Puritan Prayers

This morning, before my 5:30 run, I was able to spend a little time in the Word and in one of my favorite little books-“The Valley of Vision”. The poetic prayers printed and bound in leather speak truth to me each time I open it. I was especially blessed by today’s reading and it made me want to share with you the blessing! Enjoy!

Confession and Petition

“Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Your mind in Your Word, of neglect to seek You in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless You that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank You that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Your patient work, answering ‘no’ to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Your rule. I thank You for Your wisdom and Your love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If You should give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Your grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in You. Then I shall bless You, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.”