Sunday, May 14, 2006

Women of God

This morning as I was having my devotions (it's Mother's Day), I read a passage in Proverbs 31. It is about a wife of noble character. WOW! What an incredible woman. She is virtuous and capable, she is worth more than precious stones, her husband can trust her and she will enrich his life, and she will not hinder him. She works hard, she prepares food, she gets up before dawn to look after her household. She is wise with her money and conducts business. She is energetic, strong and a hard worker. She watches for bargains, her hands are busy and her light burns late into the night. She helps others all the time. She looks after her children and is not afraid and she dresses well.....and it goes on and on - WOW! - She sounds like an incredible woman! Someone who I would definitely like to be like.

But you know which verses got to me this morning? Verses 25-31 "
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not bear the consequences of laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: "There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!" Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise."

I see this woman as a huge inspiration to be all that I can be. What an example set before us. To be a woman who fears the Lord is a major goal - it is my goal. Her qualities are great - hard work, fear of God, respect for spouse, foresight, encouragement, care for others, concern for the poor, wisdom in handling money. These qualities when they're together with fear of God, they lead to enjoyment, success, honor and worth. Fear of God doesn't mean to be afraid of Him, but it means to have respect and reverance for Him and to obey Him.

I know women like this. God has brought many women into my life whose goal in life is to put Him first. They have blessed me sooooo much and have been such an example for me to follow. It is so essential for a woman, a mom, to take care of herself spiritually so that she can take care of her children. The biggest concern is to care for her own soul - to grow in wisdom and in the knowledge of God. To have wisdom, to show kindness and to have respect for the Lord. I honor these women in my life that have been this. I thank God for them. I have looked up to them and I have learned much from them.

These pictures that I chose this morning, reflect these qualities in these women. The first one, shows a woman lifting her hands to the Lord above and honoring Him - she is lifting up her soul to Him as she is trusting Him daily with her life and with the life of her family. I love this picture. It expresses the desire in my own heart. To seek God first and then to be the woman, wife, friend, mother....that He wants me to be.
The next picture is of a groom washing the feet of his bride. This is the picture of Christ washing His disciples feet. He was a servant even though He was the Messiah. He was a King - the King of Kings - but He became a servant. This bride and groom desired to serve each other - to serve one another in love - not out of duty. That is the life of a mother - to serve her family out of love, and not because of duty. Oh, how often I have failed at that but each new day God gives me another chance.

Abraham Lincoln once said "God bless my mother...all I am I owe to her." He loved his mother and she taught him well. Do my children love me and have I taught them well? That is what I try to do - I don't always succeed and at times I fail, but I keep trying to teach them what is right and true. To have my children stand and bless me and to have my husband praise me - oh how much more could a mother/wife be when that happens. That is my desire - to carefully watch over my household and not to bear the consequences of laziness, to have my children bless me and to have my husband to praise me. To not focus on my physical beauty but to focus on my spiritual beauty and to put God first - to fear the Lord.
I know that when I take the time and get up a little earlier to spend time in God's Word and in prayer, my day is so much better and I feel so much stronger. I am able to handle the pressures around me and the daily frustrations so much wiser. If I don't have that time, I am lacking in self control and wisdom.
I know my family loves me, my husband does praise me and my children hug me each day and tell me they love me. That makes my day! God is looking after us and I know that I am doing some things right. I sure don't do everything right, and I never will until I get to Heaven, but I keep trying each day.

Lord, clothe me with strength and dignity. Show me that I don't need to fear the future. Help my words to be wise and kindness to rule everything that I do and the instructions that I give. Teach me how to watch over my household that I will not have to bear the consequences of laziness. Help me not to be focussed so much on my body but to focus on my soul and my nourishment from You. Teach me to fear You and to teach this to my children. Grant me wisdom Father to change the things I can but to accept those things that I cannot change and that I would have the wisdom and discernment to know the difference. Thank you God for looking after my family and for guiding us each day. I love you Lord. Amen
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Wednesday, May 10, 2006


God created people so beautifully! I'm amazed at the differences of each race of people and also the similarities. There is such beauty in the heart of God and how He created man in His own image is incredible! I found the Spanish people so beautiful! Their smiles, their skin color, their dress. It was so neat being in a different country. Meeting other Christians across the world made me think of what Heaven would be like once we all came together from our different races and colors and cultures. What beauty that will be when every knee will be bowed before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. People from every walk of life will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, that God is Creator of all. What a day that will be! I can't wait! :-) When we will walk hand in hand with each other and our differences won't matter. When we will be one in the Lord and all serving Him and loving it. It won't matter then how different we do things because we'll all have one purpose in mind. All children will play together and be together no matter how different they are. They'll love each other and be kind to each other. It won't matter to them how the other one looks or acts because we will all be one. In Heaven there will be no pain, no tears, no hurts, no death. It will all be a perfect world. Posted by Picasa


The lightning in Bolivia was unreal! I loved it. I stood out on the deck for 45 minutes capturing the lightning. I had never gotten lightning shots before. It's tricky to do because it's so fast - in a blink of an eye it's there and gone. It reminded me of how quick it will be when Jesus returns. We won't have a chance then to make a decision to follow Him - it will be too late. We need to decide now whether we will choose to live for Him or not. Life is an incredible adventure when we're livin for God. Thank you God for these pictures you gave me so often during this trip.

This verse was on the wall at El Candelero in Tarija, it's the coffee house that Colleen & Larry run. It talks about remembering your Creator in the days of your youth. When we're young, it's so easy to become consumed with the things of this world and to forget about God. And as we get older it gets harder and harder to choose Him when we've ignored Him in our younger days and for so many years. But God can do anything - nothing is impossible with Him. Never stop praying for someone to come to Christ no matter how old or young they are. With prayer, God gets things happening. That's why prayer is so important.

As I leave these prints with you, I'm reminded of the bracelets I wore the whole time that I was out in Bolivia. I was not on that journey on my own strength and of my own will. God was with me. The one bracelet has GODSTRONG written on it with the verse from Ephesian 6:10-11 "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil." That's how I felt - strong because God's strength was making me strong to face anything that came my way. I had confidence in that strength. I knew that He was protecting me. Satan tried to make me doubt many times and to be afraid but then I looked down and was reminded of God's power in me that helped me to stand against the fear and doubt from the enemy.
The other bracelet says FAITHPOWER written on it with the verse from Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." This whole trip took Faith each day and the hope that I had in my heart, I could share with my uncle across the world. Faith I cannot see but I sure knew that angels were around me protecting me and God was guiding me. I have never seen God but I know one day I will come face to face with Him in Heaven and that is what I can be certain of what I do not see. I know He is with me each day even though I do not see Him. He is there always, guiding me, protecting me, loving me, forgiving me, disciplining me at times when I want to rebell and go my own way. But I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank you Jesus! Thank you Thank you!
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As I was flying from Tarija to Santa Cruz, God gave me such a beautiful sunset. I was travelling to the 2nd part of my adventure in Bolivia and I had no idea what was in store for me there. I knew it would be unlike anything I've ever seen before. I was nervous but as I watched the gorgeous sunset, I knew that I could do whatever came my way because God was with me and I had strength from Him to accomplish anything for Him. He had brought me this far, I knew He wouldn't let me down now.

As the sun went farther down, the sky got more and more beautiful. I felt so close to God up there in the heavens. My desire was to please Him. I had a dream to meet my dad's sister and brother and I knew that God was fulfilling this desire that He had placed in my heart. He was protecting me and He heard me whenever I prayed to Him. What a wonderful feeling of being looked after and being looked over. God is so good! I love Him so much!

I just couldn't get enough of the clouds up there. Everytime I blinked, the clouds looked different. It was a whole different city up there. I often wondered if the angels slept here when they needed rest...if they need rest. I couldn't help but think about the day that Christ will return but also of the day that He ascended up into Heaven after He had died on the cross and rose from the grave. With the disciples standing there watching Him, He was lifted up into the heavens. In Revelation it talks about Jesus descending down from the heavens and then in chapter 11 verse 12 it talks about the believers ascending up into Heaven. Wow!
One night some time ago I had a dream that I was driving on the highway and I saw a small light high up in the sky. I stopped the car and got out as the light got bigger and bigger. I remember in my dream wondering if this was Christ returning to gather His believers. Then I felt my body with my arms extended rising up towards the light through the clouds. WOW! What a feeling that was in my dream - I didn't want that dream to end - I just wanted to keep going so that I could get a glimpse of heaven. But the dream ended. But these clouds in the sky gave me a small glimpse of that dream as the plane rose through the clouds. That's why I chose this verse in Revelation to put on this picture.

When I was hiking in the mountains near Tarija going up to the falls, I looked up and saw these white streaks in the sky. It was beautiful! Every time I looked into the sky, it looked different. It made me feel like walking straight up this mountainside to talk to God. But then I was high enough that I felt pretty close to Him already. At the same time, I knew that I didn't have to be on a mountain to be close to God. I know that I can go right to my Bible and read it's truths and pray. Through that God will teach me His ways so that I can learn to walk in His paths everyday of my life. Posted by Picasa


Lisa J. had this picture painted of her children being guided by an angel. It was beautiful! It's a painting you often see but it made it so much more personal when you knew the children in it.
After coming back from the salon with orange nails and fingernails, I had to take a picture of them. But at the same time, it reminded me whose hands and feet they were and God can use any whose are willing to serve Him.
Standing on this peak of the earth reminded me who the earth belonged to and who created it. Even this could not compare to the wonderful talk about God that I had with my uncle.
Seeing the children at the orphanage made me think of how special children are to God. He loves them so much. This verse couldn't be more fitting. Posted by Picasa


I took this photo while I was on the 2nd colony visit sitting on the veranda visiting with my aunt. We were watching the men out in the fields while the rain was coming closer and closer. They were trying to finish as much as they could before it rained. It reminded me of this verse found in James. We need to be patient as we wait for the Lord's return and eager to share God's love with all those around us to help in bringing in God's harvest. It was a beautiful picture.
This was on the first colony visit that I had made to visit my uncle. After the chickens had been butchered, the leftovers had been thrown out in the field for the vultures to eat. Before Jesus returns, there will be many signs for us to see to show us that the time is very near. Some of those signs out out already but when the stars fall, the moon is blackened and the sun turns to blood, we will know that it will happen right then. Let's all be ready and waiting for our Lord's return.
Right here I was riding in the taxi back from the 2nd colony visit. The roads were mucky and the taxi and large trucks were all over the road. It was beautiful but things were out of my control and I had no choice but to Trust in God.
The sunset was beautiful that night I got back from the 2nd colony visit. The paintings in the sky by God were incredible. The palm trees reminded me of upraised hands extending offerings to God. Posted by Picasa


I had to show you the pet of the orphanage. Another very unique pet here in Bolivia that we don't have back home. This bird was gorgeous! He hardly looked real. They were trying to lure him down so I could hold him but he wouldn't come all the way down.
These kids just loved him. I love his beak - it's my favorite color - orange. :-) I heard that they have a difficult time flying because their beak is so heavy. I'd love to have one of these as a pet too. Maybe I should start a zoo. :-) Posted by Picasa


I met a wonderful missionary lady who had me over to her home. It was beautiful and as I was taking a couple of pictures in the back yard, I heard this rustling. I looked down and here was her pet turtle making his way through the brush. He was cute too! People had all sorts of pets here - from parrots, to monkeys, to turtles. :-)
Her son collected keys and I took a picture of them to show my son. She picked up the large one and said, "You bring that home to your son." I couldn't believe it! He was absolutely thrilled! She didn't even know me or my son and giving this gift was incredible. Later she emailed me telling me to tell my son that "Keys are given to those who are trustworthy. God is shaping him into a young godly man and to be willing to serve Him." That meant so much to us! What an incredible blessing given to my son from one who serves God across the world. That is the greatness of belonging to God's family - we are all brothers and sisters in Christ - praying for one another and blessing one another. I thank God for this godly woman who blessed us greatly. :-)
The children here were so sweet. They hugged me and loved having me taking their picture. The little guy playing with the tap was the sweetest little thing. :-) What smiles these children had in spite of how they were abandoned and they had no parents. This was their home and they had each other. It brought tears to my eyes to see how happy they were in spite of their circumstances. Thank you God for them and for this home they had together. Bless them Lord.
These children painted these wraps and then they were sold in the marketplace as an income for the orphanage. Aren't they beautiful? Absolutely gorgeous! Each one was different and unique. Posted by Picasa


Yes, I'm back from the colony and some very kind young gentlemen left these little fellars as a gift for me. They were dead and stuck to the wall beside my home. How thoughtful they were!
I nearly stepped on this one. YUCK! They look so grosz! I am so glad that we don't have such huge ones here in SK. I'll stick with our bugs, thank you very much. :-)
I caught Dave & Lisa's pet monkey 'horsin' (ha-ha) around. :-) He was much cuter than the bugs I encountered. He was a playful thing and always up to something. I could've handled taking him home. :-)
The sunset this evening was a perfect way to end the day. It was my last night here and the sunset was absolutely beautiful. I love how God paints in the skies in the mornings and the evenings. He the best painter I know!

This evening, Lisa had a bridal shower for a young lady from their church who was getting married. So, I got to take part in another party before I left. It was wonderful to get together with a group of ladies, have fellowship and laugh together. A good way to end the day. :-)
It had been such a great day! I totally enjoyed the visits and journeys to the colonies even though they were out of my control and things seemed uncertain at times. But I knew God was taking very good care of me and allowing me to experience an adventure of a lifetime. Each of the colonies was unique and beautiful. I sooooo enjoyed visiting with my aunt and my uncle and their families - dear people whom God loves so much. He loves us all and He made us all and as I read yesterday in my devotions He is "not willing that any should perish," and He is patiently waiting so that more people will find true safety in His Son Jesus. (2 Peter 3:9) They need only to accept the gift of salvation that He offers. Someday, this world as we know it will be destroyed and Jesus will return to take His children to live with Him forever - to have life eternal. God gives everyone on this earth an opportunity to hear the truth and a chance to accept Him. It's our choice whether we choose Him or not and the alternative is no good. He's patiently waiting us all of us to choose Him.
Thank you God so much for this chance that I had to come to this part of your beautiful world that you created. Be with all these people and bless them. Bless those who diligently serve you here as missionaries trying to reach all the people here, German, English and Spanish people, with the Gospel telling them of your great love for them. Thank you that I got to be a part of that. Bless them all Lord, and guide them. Amen
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Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Well, it had rained while we were out visiting on the veranda. The road was beginning to get quite wet at this point. This truck had stopped, I guess it wasn't going to go any farther but the taxi just kept on going. We were in for a ride. :-)
Okay, now we were slipping and sliding all over the road not far from where the truck had stopped. My cousin's husband was laughing at me as I stuck my head out the window trying to get a picture of this while the taxi driver's hands were scrambling all over the steering wheel trying to keep the little car on the road. What a ride!
After we were through most of the slime, this truck passed us with a bus passing him at the same time and here we were in this little car with these 2 vehicles speeding by us. It made me quite nervous because the road was still slimy and I thought that would cause the drivers to slow down a little. They didn't! :-)
Here we were on the worst part of the road. I really wanted to be home by this point. This was making me too nervous! :-) After this ride, it was so good to be out of the car and walking on the ground even if it was wet and there were frogs all over the place. :-) Or big black bugs by my door. Posted by Picasa


The land looked a little different here than it did near San Jose - the soil wasn't quite as red in this colony. It was still quite beautiful though. It reminded me of driving down the street of a small hamlet or village in SK other than the horse and buggies. The dress on this colony was different but similar to the other colony. On this colony, the men wore dark pants with suspenders while on the other colony they wore overalls with solid colored shirts. The women's dress style was similar but different prints and colors and their head coverings were different as well.
This was the home where my aunt lived, my dad's sister. Clouds were rolling in so we knew it would rain while we were there.
The tractors were still quite old but they did have rubber on their tires at this colony. It was quite common to drive them with these trailers being pulled behind them hauling goods around.
This little guy was the cutest. He followed me around on the yard as I took pictures. :-) He enjoyed having his picture taken. Who knows, he may run this farm some day when he's older and has a family of his own. :-) Posted by Picasa