A little over a week ago we had a really fun time at the pool with Krista’s family. We got some fun pictures of our kids with their aunts & uncles. Isabella went down the slide for the first time with Aunt Lala! This was kind of a going away swim time for Melissa too, she has moved back to the U.S. to work with Trinity Community Church in Tallahassee…..we all miss her mucho! This was something Melissa prayed about for a long time and she feels it will be a good time for her to get a “sabbatical” of sorts and work with Trinity while getting a rest at the same time. So of course we had a party with her before she left!!!! 🙂
…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!