viernes, 30 de mayo de 2008

Hurricane Alma

I just wanted to let anyone know that reads this blog because they are interested in the Mingo family, that we are all fine after Hurricane Alma yesterday. We did get a lot of rain and wind but no damage was done to our home other than that we were without power until about 6pm today due to a fallen cable. The hurricane touched ground near Salinas Grandes, a barrio where Adrian works. Most of the people have taken refuge in the church because their roofs were blown off. Please pray for the pastors and leaders of the communities there as they deal with their own problems and losses as well as try to encourage and help others in their community.
Thank you for your love and prayers.

lunes, 19 de mayo de 2008

Be One

As I continue studying about growth I am once again struck by things that are so familiar to me but that hit me over the head like a two by four. I finished looking at all the passages that related to spiritual growth or increase and then decided to make a couple lists, one that was a list of commands and another that was a list of prayers. As I compared my lists I realized that they were very similar. There are only three commands that I could find where we are commanded to grow or increase. We're commanded to:
Grow in brotherly love (I Ts. 4:12)
Grow in the grace of our Lord(II Pet. 3:18)
Grow in the knowledge of our Lord(II Pet. 3:18)
Paul's prayers were similar, praying for their love for Christians and for all men to increase(I Thess. 3:12) for their knowledge of God to increase(Col 1:10) , that their love grow in knowledge and depth of insight (Phil 1:9) and that they increase (grow) in faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness & love (II Pet. 1:5-10).
So as I sat there thinking about all this I asked myself, "How do I grow in all these things?"
I remembered the passage in John 15 and decided to reread it focusing on the answer to that question. It's such a familiar passage but so easily forgotten. The passage seems to progress, "Abide in the vine...abide in His Word...abide in His love." The word ABIDE means to remain as one, not to become another or different. It started becoming very clear to me. I had been a bit perplexed at the fact that there were commands to grow or increase and yet there were other verses that said that God causes the growth. (I Thess. 3:12; I Cor. 3:6-7; II Cor. 9:12) I have developed a love for my garden here in Nicaragua and I love to watch my plants grow. As I began to think about this passage in John I thought about my roses. The branches will not grow on their own, they cannot even cause the growth but as long as they are ONE with the main stem they continue to grow and eventually have beautiful roses. I cannot cause my own growth but as long as I am one with the vine, Jesus Christ, His Word and His love He will cause the growth.
I John 2:6 says "the one who says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same manner as He walked"

lunes, 12 de mayo de 2008

A Good Umbrella

It has begun to rain here in Nicaragua. We have 6 months of rain and 6 months of no rain so we're glad that the rain is back. Unfortunately though, with the rain come surprises. One of my favorite songs in "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me and it talks about the effect rain should have on my christian life..."rain" being trials. I was reminded of how important it is to be prepared for "rain" when it started raining Saturday night. I had rained once in March and we realized that our roof leaked, badly, so we called our landlady and she sent some guys over to fix it. We weren't home when they came to fix the exterior of it so we didn't really know what they had done. When they came to fix the ceiling inside the house I asked them if they had fixed all the leaks and they said yes and proceeded to fix several rooms that had been damaged by the rain. I told them it would be awful to have the roof still leak after they fixed the ceiling because their work would have been in vain but they assured me that the roof was fixed. Guess what? Saturday night as it began to pour I was walking around the house with pans finding all the spots that it still leaked!!! They had only fixed one of the leaks. All the other places were still leaking and, once again, ruining the ceiling. I was reminded of how important it is to make sure our spiritual umbrella (or roof as the case may be) is prepared for the rain that WILL come. It's not good enough to just cover up the bad, ugly spots on the ceiling by painting or putting new plywood or whatever if the hole on the outside is not fixed!! Sometimes the rain is what shows me where the holes are in my roof but if I don't fix those holes I will keep having to deal with the same leaks!! James says that we should not be surprised when we have trials but that we should count it as joy because it produces patience. I pray that God doesn't have to keep using those trials to show me the same old holes but that I would be strong in Him and that as He continues to show me where the holes are from time to time, that I would repair the holes, not just try to cover them up so they look good.

viernes, 9 de mayo de 2008

Growth - Good and Bad

As I began my quiet time with the Lord today I decided to do a study on the concept of growth so I looked up verses that had to do with growth or increase. It was interesting to realize that I can grow in a positive way as well as a negative way (letting things take root in my life that should not be there). I was overwhelmed with the number of passages dealing with growth, building up or increasing. I didn't even finish looking at all the passages but I was impacted again by the importance of growing and not just being stagnant. I, as a parent, would not be happy if my children got older but never matured and I'm sure that the Lord expects the same from me. There were passages that were commands about growing and there were passages about the Lord causing the growth but all seemed directed towards my responsibility towards this growth. If I do not spend time in the Word, gaining wisdom, or if I do not get to know God and His promises to me I can never grow in my faith or in my fruitfulness. So, today, my prayer for myself and for my friends is that of Paul's in Col. 1:9-11.
"...asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, bearing fruit in every good work and INCREASING in the knowledge of God; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light."
Enjoy the Lord today!

jueves, 8 de mayo de 2008

New Blogger

Well, I've thought about doing a blog for a long time but really wasn't sure what to blog about. I've even signed up at a couple of blog sites but was at a loss for words...until this weekend. I was at a ladies retreat with about 85 other english speaking women here in Nicaragua and we were challenged with "Becoming Strong Women in God". I was raised in a christian home, accepted Jesus Christ as my savior at the age of 6, was always very involved in youth group and any other church activity, went to a Bible Institute, became a missionary, began homeschooling my kids and the list goes on...and I never really considered myself a weak woman in the Lord. But this weekend I realized something. Many of the verses that we studied talked about growing and I will be honest, I have been relying on growing by experience much more than I have been spending time growing through the Word of God. So, that being said, this blog is going to be a sort of accountability check for me. I am going to share with anyone who takes the time to read this, what God is teaching me through His Word. Often I think we rely on experiences and little on TRUTH. Don't get me wrong. I believe God uses our experiences to teach us as well, but many of my experiences could have been so much richer if I had grown in the knowledge of Christ Jesus through His Word. So, that's my challenge! To GROW in my relationship with the Lord and not be satisfied with past growth but to press on for more! I know that the more I come to know God, the easier it will become to trust Him in EVERY aspect of my life. I'm looking forward to this new journey!