Friday, September 24, 2010

Finding the Will of God

So many times we are searching for the will of God in our lives, when in reality, it isn't some hidden, mystical process that God is hiding from us. The will of God is revealed in His word. To obey God in what we know to do is right will lead us in the steps we ought to take. It is a light which marks the path that we are to follow. Ever need direction in your life? Just follow the light that you do have from God's word, and He will direct your next step, sometimes in small baby steps, and other times, in big leaps.

So what is the will of God for his children? Obedience to the truth. A really neat study is to take your concordance and look up phrases such as "will of God," willing, etc. The will of God is that we rejoice evermore, give thanks, pray without ceasing, abstain from fornication, that no one would perish but come to salvation in Jesus Christ, etc. So often we are looking for something bigger that we fail to do the small things, and get out of God's will because we are flustered, discontent, unthankful, and it comes out in the way we treat those around us. God is so merciful and loving that He keeps correcting us, pushing us back on the right track, if we will let Him.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Some Things I Miss

I am getting used to my life here in the Canary Islands. I like going out on my bedroom balcony and seeing the blue ocean, and feeling the cool breezes that come with it. However, from time to time I feel nostalgic about the states, and what I miss is the wide open spaces, green grass and trees, and taking drives out in the country. Occasionally I will do a google search and visit those places in my mind. I love pictures of farms, country roads, and big old trees.

I also love the season of Fall, and that is one thing I miss here, the changing of the seasons. I admit, I don't really mind missing out on long winters, but I do love the changing colors of the trees, decorating for Autumn by putting pumpkins and cornstalks on the doorstep, going to the apple orchards in Upstate New York, baking pumpkin bread and pies with my girls and drinking cider.

I miss taking drives with my mother on a Sunday afternoon. She used to come up to my house when we lived in Ohio for Sunday dinner, and we would take a nice drive through the countryside, admiring homes we liked. I would dream about what it would be like to live there. I suppose we all have somewhere we go to in our minds when we reminisce.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Congratulations Hannah and David

Yesterday David took Hannah out for dinner for her 25th birthday. They had secured permission from the college for an off-campus date and with another staff member and his wife as chaperones, went to the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building in Chicago. They had a nice dinner, and for dessert the wait staff brought out a chocolate box, which contained chocolate sprinkles inside, along with the ring.

Doug and I knew about the little surprise, as David had asked Doug permission before hand. This means we have had two engagements in our family in the past two weeks! Jenny and Michael, along with Hannah and David, were planning a summer wedding in 2011--and since we have to travel such a long way, we decided a double wedding ceremony would be the best for our family considering the circumstances.

We are blessed with the wonderful young men the Lord has brought into our daughters lives, as both feel called to full time ministry. David is a pilot and is currently studying aircraft mechanics to prepare him to be an aviation missionary to Papua New Guinea. Michael is not sure what the Lord has for his life yet, but is leaning towards missions. Most importantly, they are men of high character and we feel confident they will lead our daughters in the ways of the Lord and endeavor to love them as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Keeping Things in Perspective

So often I find myself worrying about things that are of little significance when you consider the world's problems. Just yesterday I was reminded of this very thing when my daughter in law wrote that they couldn't leave the house because of rioting in the streets of Maputo/Matola Mozambique, where they serve as missionaries. My son was going to take his bike out for his daily exercise when a neighbor saw him and warned him, advising him that it would not be safe to go out.

The riots were provoked by rising costs of bread and other basics. The GDP of Mozambique is around $800 verses neighboring South Africa which enjoys nearly $10,000 GDP--a huge difference. They depend on South Africa for goods, and must compete against the South African rand, and their currency the metical is losing value. Seventy percent of all Mozambicans live below the poverty line. The country's infrastructure is sorely lacking, and basic necessities such as medical care are scarce. I read the other day that millions of dollars worth of malaria medicines are donated to poor African countries such as Mozambique, but it never really reaches the needy as it is often sold on the private market. Corruption is rampant and nothing seems to work as one would expect in a more "civil" and developed nation.

When I visited Nathan and Emily back in May, I was so thankful upon returning to the Canary Islands of Spain, where civility and tranquility are the norm. Sure, we have our problems with a 25 percent unemployment rate, but at least they try to do things decently and in order. The poorest of people here have adequate health care, a place to live, and food to eat.

Next time you are tempted to complain, or worry, try to think about how the rest of the world is living, and thank God for all our abundant blessings. My heart aches for the people suffering in these poor countries.