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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Esther Week 3 / Ester Semana 3

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The Triumph of Mordecai by Pieter Lastman, 1624.  
Insights from chapter 3 this week...

The devil is against the obedience of God´s people.  This should not come as a surprise to any believer!  Even if you are living a life that pleases God you can expect trials to come from the hand of God´s enemy.

Haman, through his prideful spirit, was used by Satan to persecute God's people.  As the king's favorite who was praised by all the province he was infuriated at being publicly humiliated by Mordecai.  His own pride led him to hatred of the Jews and we will see later on in the story how that because he did not esteem others more important than himself it led him to a great fall.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 
-I Corinthians 10:12
BEWARE!  Don't hide "little" sins in your heart!  As women we are experts in hiding bitterness, anger, resentment,etc, in our hearts against other people.  Whether the offense against us is real or imagines we need to overlook the offenses of others and leave them in God's hands.  Some would complain that they cannot, but they are lying to themselves.  The truth of the matter is that they DO NOT WANT TO FORGIVE.  We should not be fooled into thinking that we are right with God when we are harboring sin in our lives.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
-Proverbs 16:18
Are you filled with pride?  Are you overcome by a haughty spirit?  Take care of it today lest you become a source of division in the body of Christ.

Let's live Biblically today honoring the King of Kings!

Traducción (bueno...mas o menos de lo aprendido del cápitulo 3 esta semana)-
El diablo esta en contra de la obediencia del pueblo de Dios.  Eso no nos debe sorprender como creyentes. Aunque estas viviviendo una vida que agrada a Dios puedes esperar pruebas de la mano del enemigo de Dios.

Amán, a travez de su orgullo, fue usado por Satanás para probar el pueblo de Dios.  Como el favorito del rey y el querido del pueblo se enfureció al ser humillado publicamente por el rechazo de Mardoqueo.  Su propio orgullo le llevo al odio y vamos a ver como su propio menosprecio por los demas le llevará a una caída mortal.
Así que, el que piensa estar firme, mire que no caiga.
-I Corintios 10:12
¡TEN CUIDADO de guardar dichos "pecaditos" en tu corazón!  Nosotras como mujeres somos muy expertas en guardar rencor, amargura, resentimiento, etc., en nuestros corazones contra otras personas.  Sea la ofensa imaginaria o real, debemos pasar por alto las ofensas de los demás y dejarlas en las manos del Señor.  Algunos dicen que no pueden, pero es mentira.  La verdad es que por su orgullo, NO QUIEREN perdonar.  No debemos engañarnos pensando que estamos bien con el Señor si en nuestros corazones estamos guardando el pecado.
Antes del quebrantamiento es la soberbia,
Y antes de la caída la altivez de espíritu. -Proverbios 16:18
¿Estás llena de soberbia? ¿Sufres de altivez de espíritu o orgullo? Trata con esos pecados hoy para que no sea que tu tambíen seas llevado a causar división en el cuerpo de Cristo.

¡Viviremos biblicamente honrando al Rey de Reyes!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When life doesn't go the way you planned...

Pin It It's 6:45am here in Peru and I'm wide awake with free time all to myself.  With my husband busily preparing to teach his seminary class and three little ones from preschool age on down, I was almost too shocked by this sudden burst of freedom to do anything!  Maybe I'm just recovering from the way the day began.  Let's roll back the clock to 5:00 am....

5:00 am 
The baby: Waaaaahhhh!!!
Me: (sigh...roll out of bed, and walk down the hallway) Good morning, princess!

The princess coo's and then complains loudly that I am taking too long to start the feeding process.
 We stumble back down to my room and I grudgingly wake up.  It's not that I don't want to help her out in her moment of distress, it's just that my mind doesn't function so well before I've had time to put on my glasses!

When she's finished I figure that since I'm already awake I might as well make it a productive morning.  I quickly iron two shirts for my husband (It seems easier to do a two-for-one ironing so that tomorrow I can sleep in!)  Then I hear that another child is awake.

5:30 am
The 5 yr. old: (mumbling to himself loudly in his room...He has a bad habit of telling himself stories at 3 am at a volume level that awakens the entire household.)
Me: If you're going to be up talking I'm going to give you some schoolwork to do. (In my brilliant mind I'm thinking that he can be done with school by 6 am, eat breakfast, and go back to sleep!  What was I thinking?)

So...I went downstairs and started washing the pile of dishes awaiting me from yesterday afternoon when the water went off.  (another story in itself).  I put breakfast in the oven, rolled the baby into the office to "visit" with Daddy for a little while, and with a sense of accomplishment decided to check on my son before beginning my Bible study.  And that's when it happened...

He had climbed up on the desk in our schoolroom and was kneeling with all his weight ON TOP OF MY BRAND NEW COMPUTER!  (Believe me when I say, I almost had a heart attack!)

Me: YOU'RE ON TOP OF MY COMPUTER!!!!! (and then before I could react in my state of shock I sent him to work at the dining room table downstairs under my eagle eye of supervision).

Needless to say, I was not expecting to see that and I quickly rushed over to check the condition of my poor, crushed friend.  I must give kudos to HP for their sound craftsmanship on this own because the computer escaped unscathed, which is why I am able to type this now.

Later on, when I was calm enough to interrogate him I asked him if he saw my computer in the desk.

His answer? Yes, I saw it under the papers.

Then I asked him why he would do such a thing.  (O, how I wanted to scream at that moment...)

It has taken about an hour to get over it...and the culprit?  He finished up his schoolwork with an amazing attention to detail normally lacking (maybe he was trying to get back into my good graces.)  He ate his breakfast quickly and then meekly asked if he could return to his bed.

I sent him merrily on his way with the stern reminder that he was not to awaken his 3 yr. old brother.  I had had enough drama in one hour to last me the entire day without incurring his wrath at being awakened "before his time"

As I am just now settling down after some "quiet time" in the book of Esther I think about how insignificant my moment of drama was when compared to hers.  Uprooted from her home, from her people, taken captive with only the hope of being a slave to the king in the future, and then through a twist of circumstances facing certain death at the hands of an enemy who would see her people annihilated.

Proverbs 9:10 tells us that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom".  To know what to do in a difficult situation, to know how to respond when things don't go the way you planned, to show wisdom every step of the way requires help from Almighty God.  In the difficult times in my life I need God's wisdom to guide me and to sustain me.  I can't wait until the hard times come to begin searching. I need to seek God's wisdom NOW in order to be ready to face whatever may come.

Today's devotional verse from the Love God Greatly bible study on Esther is Psalms 112:1 which states,
Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
It's not enough for me to know what God commands.  I need to joyfully obey His commands and take joy or delight in the who, what, when, where, why and how of how He is leading me.  My attitude is everything. 

Here is the weekly challenge from week 2.  Head on over to the Love God Greatly website for more inspiration.

May you take joy in His leading. 

Be blessed as you follow Christ today!

Friday, September 5, 2014

There and back again...

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It's been more than a year since my last post, and I could spend days recounting what has happened between now and then, but time is of the a quick update is all I´m going to give.

My husband and I are still missionaries in the mountains of Peru, and we thank God for the opportunities we have to share His Word each day.  Our main focus here is working with a Baptist Seminary and leading a discipleship program in the local church.  I have a class of about six ladies who meet faithfully on Thursday nights to study the Bible together.  With three little ones of my own and about four others from the other ladies that can become quite a challenging task, but with God's help they are growing in their knowledge of Him and that's what it's all about!

This week I started co-hosting a Bible study on Esther from or in Spanish.  I disbanded my English speaking group long ago due to lack of interest, but my spanish study group has soared to almost 50 ladies!  Needless to say I was stunned at the amount of interest and thrilled at the same time.  My goal is to give a weekly update here on what we are learning together.  Here is the recap for week 1.

Esther chapter 1
In the first chapter of Esther we see Vashti's story unravel as Esther's begins to unfold.  Several of the
devotional texts that we looked at in our study focused on the difference between the fool and the wise (or prudent).  Both the king and Vashti were unwise in the decisions that they made.  He was focused on displaying his own wealth and power and after 6 months of partying and lifting himself up it was infuriating for his wife to refuse his command to come and be shown off as one of his prize possessions.  Vashti was also in the midst of her own party with the ladies when she refused to honor her husband's request.  The twin monsters of pride and selfishness are obviously evident in this bird's eye view of palace life, but the story is not so unlike our lives today.

It is so easy to get caught up in ourselves.  What makes me happy?  What can I do to feel good about myself today?  How will I respond/react when others don't do what I want, when I want it?  How often do I respond without thinking, without considering the other person, without seeking Biblical counsel?  Am I a respectful wife to my husband or am I trying to make myself look good in the eyes of others while putting him down?  

No, I am not a queen of Persia.  Ha!  Far from it!  And my husband is not the king of 127 provinces, but it only takes a moment of disrespect to offend him, and the consequences can have a lasting effect on the harmony of our home.

May God's wisdom be the go-to foundation for my daily decisions and yours!

Be blessed!