Saturday, April 30, 2011

"May God bless you with discomfort"

This is from a newsletter from a fellow, LAM Mexico missionary, Sally Isaias, and I find it to be very relevant since this Easter season, I have found myself avoiding pain and discomfort:

"This last Wednesday, (the beginning of Lent) I met with a young man whom I have known since he was a child. I knew he was not doing well and wanted to ask him upfront what was going on. What an intense meeting! He shared his life and convictions with me and listened intently as I shared with him what I believe the Lord says in his Word regarding his situation, giving him hope in Jesus Christ. He has chosen to believe a lie and deep down admits that he is wrong but isn´t willing to pay the price to be healed. He kept repeating: “I don´t want to suffer, I don´t want to sacrifice, I don´t want to do anything uncomfortable. I don´t want to.” In the midst of it all, we prayed and he thanked me for confronting him in love. “No one has ever done that, they just look at me and talk behind my back. Thanks for coming directly to me. I don´t agree with you, but feel that you truly care for me and are not judging me. I want to be healed, just don´t know if I am ready to pay the price” he said. It made me think of how we all shy away from suffering, sacrificing and being uncomfortable So, I have taken to heart a Franciscan prayer sent to me:

May God bless you with discomfort. Discomfort at easy answers, half truths and superficial relationships,

so that you may live deep within your heart. Amen.

May God bless you with anger. Anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,

so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen.

May God bless you with tears. Tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war,

so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy. Amen.

May God bless you with foolishness. Enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world,

so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.

And the blessing of God who creates, redeems, and sanctifies,

be upon you and all you love and pray for this day and forever more. Amen.

What discomfort are you experiencing today that God can use for His glory?

I pray the Lord greatly enriched you this Easter season as you reflected on what Christ for you and for me on the cross.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

15 years of marital bliss!

This April 13 we celebrated 15 years of marriage! What an adventure that has been. I love doing life with Alfredo and anticipate many more years of adventure together!

The slideshow starts with photos from when we were "just friends", then when we became "boyfriend-girlfriend", then when we got engaged, and finally ends with photos from our wedding!

We love the companions God has given us to accompany us on this journey!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How do you know if an IFI has been successful?

One day, during a meal we shared together, my boss Robert Bruneau was asked: How do you know if an IFI has been successful?

I was close by so I took notes.
  • Success is measured by the depth of the lived community we experience. God Himself blesses us with His presence as we begin to intentionally walk together and share life.
  • Success is visible through the discoveries we listen to and see people make: Ah! Now I understand! I just realized… I never knew…Wow, this is new to me.
  • Success is apparent by the progression we observe of the guided-supervised practices. After watching you teach several times, we get a handle on how well you are grasping the concepts and able to teach them to others.
  • But we recognize, that we can only see the outward signs, God knows what's going on in the hearts of us all and He defines success by His means and standards!