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I really need to start off by apologizing for what you are about to read. Please have your dictionaries ready. You see, I have accumulated five Merriam-Webster "Word of the Day"'s (WODS) since my last post. So as not to belabor the newly acquired verbiage, I will condense them into one short paragraph...
First of all, when I journal about things past, I try to avoid confabulation although my memory is not perfect. You have to understand that we do not sanction fabrication, while at the same time we are advised against candor by the hidebound circles of modern day missionaries. At times, this drives one berserk.
Wow, string enough those WODS together and I read like a weatherworn thesaurus. When the truth is, I'm practically a chawbacon.
OK, onto the subject of today's, subject. I have to confess up front that I don't think of myself as a missionary in the sense that missionaries, in my mind, are people that spend a lot of time doing holy things like reading the Bible, preaching, evangelizing, medical clinics, feeding programs, schools etc, etc, etc. You know, all the stuff that makes missionaries such wonderful people. No, I am none of that and I do little of that. Practically speaking, I am just a normal guy living in Central America, raising thirteen children, ten cows and fifty pigs.
This being said, I have to admit that at times I neglect to do what every Christian should do every day. That is, there are days and strings of days when I don't crack open a Bible and prayer is rarely on my lips. I am not sure why this is as my days are clearly better when I do spend even a limited amount of time with our Lord. I am just emerging from such a dry spell and every time I do so, I recognize how drastically life improves. My circumstances may not change, but quality of life does.
Recently I began spending some quiet time every morning and did not realize the "coincidence" that had befallen the same days. As you can imagine, funding is always a dilemma in the lives of missionaries...as it is with just about everyone in the world. Without realizing it, the same day I began by dusting off the Bible, revenues for the home began to increase. I am not talking about donations. No, the Lord is blessing some of the things I do on the computer, advertising for example. In the case of advertising, I do no kind of work. People can either click on the ads or not. If they do, wonderful. If not, I'd better work a couple extra hours daily to make up for it. For a solid month there was little in the way of revenues from the advertising channel, about the same amount of time I was not spending faithfully with Our Father in Heaven.
I don't want to make this all about money, because it definitely is not, not by a long shot. There are many, actually all, aspects of my life that I absolutely need Our Father for. For example, my patience can be measured in centimeters. For you Americans not familiar with the metric system, a centimeter is about 2/5 of an inch. Other aspects of my life are greatly improved as well, for the benefit of myself and others around me. Revenues, however, are easily measurable and therefore I relayed that story.
In my early years of Christianity, I heard a lot about quiet times with the Lord. I was always looking for a formula for how much time to spend, what to read, etc. The truth, is it's all about your relationship with the Lord. Everyone is created differently and everyone needs something different. I will say that everyone needs to read the Word of God, pray and maybe quietly sing. The amount of each activity is really up to you, but it should be done at least daily (Jesus said pick up your cross and follow me daily).
Personally I begin by reading the Bible until I am no longer conscious of things that need to be done or distractions. Of course by then, I am no longer thinking about time. God has all the time in the world and if I want to be like Him, I shouldn't worry about time either. Usually somewhere along the way, the Lord will gently remind me of the important things to accomplish in the day. Again, this sounds contradictory to my earlier statement about "what needs to be done or distractions", but it is not. When the Lord speaks to me about such things, it is clear and He only tells me the really important things. Remember, He orders our steps. I finish by praying for the people I am concerned about and He sends me with His blessing to accomplish what I hope is His will.
I really hope I am not sounding pompous. I am about as nonreligious a person as you'll find. I definitely don't think myself a saint and I absolutely quiver when someone speaks about jewels in my crown. Note to friends, I don't like wearing things on my head. If we have crowns in Heaven, I don't think I'll like wearing it. Moreover, I'm afraid we'd be comparing jewels and crowns everywhere, so I doubt we'll have such things, at least as we think of crowns on Earth (heavy, golden with glitter and gaudy stuff all over them).
Gerardo is in the hospital to change the port that keeps getting infected. Walter will be leaving in a week for the air force academy. Walter is a big help here because of his English and being a responsible person. We feel perfectly at ease leaving the children with Walter to take care of business. We are going to miss him, but we are so very glad and proud that he is going to do what he has always wanted to do!
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