Friday, February 4, 2011


In my life I have found some things are not as simple as they seem. The verse in the Bible that says, "Let your speech be alway with GRACE, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

Grace is defined as: 1. Elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action. 2. A pleasing or attractive quality. 3. Favor or good will. 4. A manifestation of favor, especially by a superior. 5. Mercy, clemency, pardon.

This was only the first 5 definitions but you get the point. Our speech...what we say to one another. How we speak to our friends, family, strangers, enemies, students we may teach, children, elderly, EVERY MAN...our words should be seasoned with grace, everything we say.


Do we have grace for those we come in contact with? What of the fallen? What of the girl who is loose with her standards? Do our words portray to her that we favour her, we have forgiven her, does she feel she has any reason to even try again? Will she find grace and pardon in our words or condemnation and no hope.

Grace. Some have called it "unmerited favor"...for we do nothing to deserve it. If we've done nothing to deserve simple logic then, we can't do anything to NOT deserve is after all Grace.

When we look at others because of what we have heard or seen...and do not offer grace to them...we are a stumbling block to them. Our Lord has left us here to love people, unconditionally, and to offer them grace. When the woman taken in adultery was brought before Jesus, he said, "Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more." He didn't have to teach her what was wrong...she knew. We do not have to sit down with the fallen and point out all of their mistakes and flaws...they already know. We need to offer grace and unconditional love. No matter how well you know someone, you may not understand everything.

Here in Belize, there is a lot of teenage pregnancy. One of the first questions asked the girls when they come in is, "Have you been sold?" What would make a mother so desperate that she would SELL HER DAUGHTER!!?? I don't fully know, but I suspicion that she was sold, and therefore believes it to be ok. Who will offer that mother grace for her guilt? Who will offer the daughter grace...who will love them as Christ would if He were still on earth?

If incest occurs, the mother is left penniless with many children to raise. Many times she will stay with the abuser because he is the breadwinner. If she were to turn him into the authorities, their family name would be ruined. So it is kept quiet, brushed under the rug.

Girls are forced into relationships at an early age. Some as young as 11 and 12. Their purity lost. Their view of love forever tainted by guilt. I would like to believe that this forcing is only happening in third world countries, but I am not naive. This happens in America too.

Who will offer grace? Who will have the right words to say that are seasoned with salt and grace? Salt is for cleansing and preserving...there is no condemnation in this verse...only grace and unconditional love. Who will know how they "ought to answer every man"? Do you know how to offer grace to the wounded...or do you remain silent for fear of saying the wrong thing? If so...the wounded walk right out the doors with the same pain and guilt they came with. We all need to learn how to love them, to accept them, to offer them grace without condemnation...may we learn to love how God loves.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A new year

Now that January is here, I've been thinking about my life in the past year. What have I learned...have I grown as a person, a Christian? Who am I now that I wasn't a year ago? What have I learned about myself, about others?

I've been in Belize for 14 months now. So much of who I am, is and will be determined by my life here on the mission field. Some times we change, whether we like it or not...because we must. So how have I changed and what have I learned about myself?

I have learned...

I can live with bugs, spiders, snakes, scorpions, bats...and really it's not a big deal anymore. When I first came I often thought, "How can I do this every single day?!" I was constantly killing ants...they were everywhere. They still are, but most of the time, (unless they are taking over the house) I just leave them alone...I don't have the time to kill ants 24/7.

I have learned to live on "plan C" because I know that plan A and plan B usually don't work out. That was an adjustment! I like to plan things and to work THAT PLAN...but ya know what...sometimes the plan doesn't work out...and you MUST ADJUST! You have to. I have learned it is ok if things don't work out. I have learned to say "Oh well..." with a smile.

I have learned that if I do not dwell on those things which I cannot get or do here...soon I forget what it is that I am doing without. Really. People ask me, "What can you not get down there?" and I cannot think of anything, because I've just learned to live without it.

I have learned to cook many things from scratch. If I want a potato casserole (which I'm making today) I have to shred the potatoes and the cheese. Everything takes longer. Everything. A simple meal to cook in the states can take hours to put together here...because everything is done by YOU! A salad takes a long time because you must sanitize all the veggies in bleach water, wash each leaf of just takes time!

I have learned the ache of lonliness. In that lonliness I have learned an aspect of the Lord I never experienced before. While praying and crying to God for months to know Him more, to know His heart and His intense loneliness came over me. God was silent. Then after weeks of this, I heard Him whisper into my soul..." heart is lonely too. I ache for fellowship with those whom I love. Yet, the people I love and gave my Son for...ignore me and never speak to me. You asked to know My heart and mind...I am lonely."

So many other things....

I hope in this next year to learn more. To learn more about helping hurting people. How to teach the wounded. How to help others heal....

What an honor to serve our King. To represent Him to those who are hurting. Mine truly is A Life Worth Living.


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