…so says John Piper….better put, so John Piper quotes in agreement. And though his short blog leaves one wanting a further discussion, I can say I agree. As far as the details I am curious about there are several, but the idea is compelling, that the parallel between Islam & Christianity is not Jesus viewed against Mohammed and the Qur’an against the Bible, but it is as Piper notes, Jesus viewed against the Qur’an.
In Islam there is the written holy word of god (the Qur’an). In Christianity the Word became flesh in Jesus Christ. So for Muslims to see the Qur’an burnt by a Pastor (no I am not going to call him a nut job, maybe intentionally provocative) in Florida it is like them witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. What this assertion does, is help one to see things a little more clearly. To have a clearer understanding of how intense an act it was to burn the Qur’an. We have dear friends who work and live in Muslim nations and I know they take great pause to see something like this happen in Florida.
What this doesn’t do is justify the outcome. I am a sensitive person, but to me political correctness and moral relativism reach an end when they begin to trump reason. There was evil in this provocative news story and it wasn’t that pastor. It was a rampaging mob raiding a U.N. compound, dragging innocent people out, murdering them and decapitating them. I am not compelled to find some moral equivalency in the history of Christianity nor find a way to put this pastor on the same playing field in the Evil meter.
What does the outcome of this tell the world if we can take off our PC blinders? It tells us there is something very wrong in Islam. Is there a solution? Yes, and though it may sound simple minded, the solution is Jesus. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit would rush into the hearts of men and women around the world and transform them with Jesus’ salvation, Jesus’ love, Jesus’ peace, Jesus’ joy, Jesus’ hope….I pray everyday for men & women who are going out into the world and bringing the power of Jesus Christ with them.
Piper ends his blog with this observation about the Crucifixion of Jesus…”In the process of being crucified, Jesus rebuked the use of the sword (Matthew 26:52) healed his enemy’s amputated ear (Luke 22:51), prayed for the forgiveness of his murderers (Luke 23:34), and sent his followers out to love their enemies and do good to those who hate them (Luke 6:27). So the Qur’an has been burned and the Christ has been crucified—and continues to be crucified. The test is in the response.”
Indeed the test is in the response…and how will I respond the next time I see my savior crucified?
A young man named Brendan Van Gorder took this past year off from his studies to volunteer in Nicaragua. He approached us in January about teaching English at Colegio Esperanza and he has been a very consistent ever since and doing an excellent job. Pretty remarkable for a young man not even in his twenties….there is a very sweet Spirit of our Lord on this young man. I took these photos the other day as he was teaching his class and doing something really cool. He teamed up with a Spanish teacher in New York and the two classes have been exchanging messages back and forth with each other via recorded videos on the internet…..in the picture the kids at Esperanza are listening closely to a message from their buddy in New York…..Pretty Awesome! Colegio Esperanza has gone global!!!
Krista’s little sisters Johana & Yolanda celebrated their 11th birthday on Saturday. They wanted to have an Andrea Boccelli birthday party (definitely their mom’s influence 🙂 !!!) All the ladies were to dress nicely and the men were to wear scarves. Andrea was playing in the background and we were served Italian h’or devours and glasses of wine (Fanta uva). We had lots of fun….after cake the girls opened their presents (Elizabeth had taken them shopping) and they put on a fashion show for us all! Happy Birthday Hana & Lola!!!
Everyone is growing up! It is kind of crazy. This picture is funny of Moses the Italian super model!!! And you can see in this picture with Krista that her little brothers and sisters aren’t so little anymore….they will soon pass us all 🙂
We were recently given a daily devotional book called Jesus Calling by a woman named Sarah Young. I do not know much about it but it sits on our coffee table, yesterday I read the entry and it had an impact on me:
I am calling you to a life of costant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that you communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.
Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me.
1 Thessalonians 5:17; Proverbs 3:6
That was a good word. That is where I want to keep my focus everyday, not in what needs to be done, what I wasn’t able to do, what I should have done better, etc….but in BEING IN COMMUNION WITH MY GOD. God, the creator of all things in the entire universe, is the same God that wants to be in communion with me.
A standard I personally try to keep is to live each day “worshiping God as I go.” This word from Mrs. Young was a good reality check for me, a word that kept all things in perspective yesterday. I know it was a little mush mush talking about feelings and all, but the truth of the reality we live in and who God is was there…unrealistic fantasies about life, Ultimate goals, false idols, Communion with God.
Every step of my day I want to be asking for God’s Holy Spirit to guide me and comfort me…..from that point I can be at peace with everything that is happening and “let the chips fall where they may.”
Today was report card day for the kiddos at Casa Robles. It was a little suspensful wondering how everyone was going to do on the first report card at the new school. They had exams just last week and always have lots of homework. Praise God this new school is awesome….they are learning soooo much! So come midday they were all on the way home and I was waiting with Timo to have lunch with them at Robles. I called to see if they were close and Mama Angelica asked if we brought any presents because they all did great!!!! I know she and Yuri were very relieved to see good grades on everyone’s report card….and very proud!
But the best part is Heyler & Freder both made the HONOR ROLL!!!!! And Andrew who is in preschool got all “excelentes” on his report. Those three really kicked some booty…..Heyler said his name was on the “Cuadro de Honor” in his teachers class on the wall and in the Directors office too! Awesome! We definitely went out and had Tip Top Chicken for lunch to celebrate!
…actually an addition. Krista & I have been praying about this for over a year now and we arrived at the point to make a decision to start construction on our house. We are a family of five living in our two bedroom house which we love. But we knew something was going to have to happen sooner or later. I hesitate to say what we “plan” to do, because things can always change in a heart beat. But we do plan to be here in Nicaragua for a long time and we plan on our family to continue growing. God has encouraged us in many different ways and through many people. He has made it possible for us to get started so last week we made a huge hole! We plan on turning our bedroom into a family room and building rooms for us and the kiddos off of that….all in the direction of that hole….it looks like an RPG hit the side of our house!
We appreciate your prayers through this. We are going to take it one phase at a time and build as we can. This first step is the foundation. Even though it is going to be time consuming and maybe exhausting in the midst of everything else going on, we are really really excited about this. We are on a crazy adventure and this is part of it. Praise Jesus!
We’ve made some improvements at Colegio Esperanza. First thing was to fill in the floor in front of the kitchen. We have tons of movement there and wanted to get a floor down before the rains come. Sheyla (school director who most of you know) had a great idea of putting sand down around the little kids monkey bars. We can’t put things kids will throw so mulch and pebble type material was out, so sand was an awesome idea. We have sand box now at Colegio Esperanza!!!! Awesome!
The other important thing was to put up another line of barbed wire. Last week we had three drug additcts scale the wall and come into the school disturbing the day. They were really disruptive and wouldn’t leave, we had to call the police and file a report. So we got a new row of serpentine on the back wall. It looks so barbaric, but we need to protect the integrity of the school….it can not be chaotic there.
There are some other big needs at the school. We need to fix the big tarp in the back area that is our meeting area for mourning devotionals, holiday activities, etc. I forgot to take a picture but if you’ve been to the school it is the big tent around back. We would also like to put up a small inexpensive roof and floor out back so the “Reinforcement Tutoring Students” have a place to study with their tutor that is away from all the other activity in the front of the school.
The Lord provides for this school over and over. So we know these things will get done. This is a refuge for these children….a place where God is impacting their lives! Amen.
If you would like to donate to the school you can follow the link on the right side. The monthly cost is $9,270 not including projects like these. Thanks mucho!