For those of you that like to know what we do here in Corrientes, Argentina while serving at the Youth With A Mission base, here is our latest update video….. Blessings!
Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category
I thought about writing my own Easter reflection this year, but stumbled across this special letter and decided to share it. I feel that it sums up much of my own personal thoughts at this time of year, and I hope that you too can identify with it. HAPPY EASTER.
During a recent discussion with a friend, she articulated her feelings about Christianity by making the statement, “I am more of a “God” person–not really a “Jesus” person.” She went on to relate that she identified more with God than with Christ, even though she still considered herself a Christian.
Sadly, I knew exactly what she meant. I thought of the numerous times in the past where I have felt uncomfortable upon hearing someone exclaim, “Praise Jesus!” Or when I witnessed someone praying out loud, “Help me, Jesus.” And I have to ask myself: why should their obviously-close relationship with Christ create an awkward situation for me? Shouldn’t praying to Jesus be just as natural as praying to God?
I have often been guilty of falling back on God rather than referring to an active, living relationship with Christ. This conversation with my friend got me to thinking—have we become so “politically correct” that even amongst ourselves as Christians, we find it is easier to talk about “God” rather than “Jesus”?
And as we approach Easter—the central foundation of our Christian faith… the day that Christ rose from the dead… the day that we celebrate the LIVING Christ—shouldn’t it be a day that we confirm Christ living in US? On this Holy Day, I think it is important to ask ourselves, “Are we keeping Christ alive in our lives?”
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not one of those who treats Christ’s death as meaningless…” ~ Galatians 2:20-21
I reviewed the following definitions of “Alive”…
- alert and animated,
- having interest and meaning,
- to be aware of and interested in,
- prevalent and very active,
- continuing to be supported or in use
…and I wondered if I could use them to describe my relationship with Christ. Is our connection, “alert, animated, prevalent, meaningful, active, in use?” Or is what I experience with Christ different—even something less than that? Why?
What does Christ’s Life, Death, and Resurrection really mean to our daily lives?
If we experience the Risen Christ, can we actually go on with our lives as if things are the same as before? Were our old selves truly “crucified with Christ”? And why has the phrase, “born again” become symbolic with fundamentalism? Aren’t all Christians “born again”? Would we describe ourselves in this way, or perhaps more significantly—why don’twe?
The words to this song by the popular Atlanta Christian group Third Day speak poetically of this very transformation:
“Well today I found myself, after searching for all these years. And the man that I saw, wasn’t at all who I thought he’d be.
I was lost when you found me here. I was broken beyond repair. Then you came along and you sang a song over me.
It feels like I’m born again. It feels like I’m living. For the very first time, I’m living for the first time.
It feels like I’m breathing. It feels like I’m moving. For the very first time; I’m living for the first time, in my life.”
Now that is what I call having “interest and meaning, being active and alive” in Christ. And perhaps that is the key—to harken back to our baptism and to be “Born Again.” Maybe that is the only way to keep Christ truly ALIVE in our lives.
So this Easter, as we approach the altar and partake of the “body and blood” of our Living Savior, let us all remember to let Christ live in us. Let us not be one of those who treats Christ’s death as meaningless. Let his death and his resurrection be significant events not only in our religious lives, but in our daily lives as well.
Let the Paschal greeting resonate with us: “Christ is Risen!” And let us always answer with enthusiasm—by our words and especially in our lives—”Christ is Risen, Indeed!”
Deborah J. Thompson is a writer, artist and Stephen Minister. Her articles are published by Crosswalk.com and “The Fish” family of Christian radio station websites around the country. She shares “Reflections” on Life andMarriage on her website, www.inspiredreflections.info. And she is working on her first book, Your Life, Your Choice, which gives 5 simple steps to harness the power of your choices and bring more Love, Joy and Peace into your life. Join her on Facebook and Twitter/InspireReflect.
Original publication date: March 30, 2010
This past weekend eight members of our art ministry traveled to the city of Garuhape in the province of Misiones to present our musical comedy Welandia in an event for Children’s Month. We were overjoyed to learn that over 900 children and 400 adults attendedthe event, an AMAZING turnout for this 10 000 inhabitant town!!!! We were so blessed to see the smiles on these little faces and to be part of yet another event planned solely to bring joy to children during their special month.
The sewing machines continue whizzing as our six international designers (from Bolivia, Mexico and Argentina) work on their Spring/Summer 2012 collections for our 5th annual fashion show. This year the show is called Plenitud Collection and is inspired by the fullness of God and features prominent details and pieces in gold. We are so excited for this show and to see the creativity and original pieces that will be presented on the runway on Thursday, August 30 in one of Corrientes’ most influential hotels, Gran Hotel Guaraní.
….. Bella enjoying a warm winter day with her best friend Lady!!!
“If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn’t it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death.” — Dave Davidson
This summer has been a fairly dry one here in Corrientes, dry and hot, quite rare for this northern province in Argentina. Normally we are accustomed to stifling humidity and rain off and on through the 5-7 month-long season. Thankfully, after a run of days in the high 40s, God granted our prayers and brought down RAIN! Sparkling, cool, refreshing rain. And with the rain, our grape vine is looking stronger than ever.
It’s a funny thing, our grape vine; we have lived in this house for four summers and the first summer that we moved in, we picked (is that the right word? I’m not familiar with grape-lingo) buckets and buckets and literally more buckets of grapes off of our vine. However, last winter we had to cut the vine because it was tangled and getting out of control and things were growing all over the place, strangling the other plants. The grape vine was misbehaving, thinking it owned our back yard, and that it could do whatever it wanted with the other plants. And so… we cut it. Pruned down to a shrivly little trunk, peeking out from under the grated roof above our outside laundry sink. Of course neither my husband nor I know how to prune properlly and the next summer when we picked only one or two buckets of grapes, we thought that we must have killed the thing.
But low and behold! This summer… it is practically teeming with grapes! The vine has taken on a life of its own again, but this time in a more organized manner, growing in all the right places, hanging down just where it’s supposed to, and full of plump, green, shiny grapes! And not only are there grapes, but they are DE-LICIOUS! They are sweet, just the right bite to them, and come off the vine in beautiful clusters. In fact, we have so many grapes this year that we are going to pick them and take them by the bucket-full to the mission that we work at, so as not to let any spoil just because we cannot eat them fast enough.
This all reminds me of something that we very often experience in our own personal lives. In fact, I know quite a number that are going through what our grape vine went through, or what I many times have gone through, and will surely go through again. Many times our lives get out of control, things become tangled, our priorities become lost, and we find that we start to strangle, or suffocate, those around us with our mixed up desires and attitudes. Many times we are so focused on our own personal survival, as was this grape vine, that we reach out to wherever we can, just to find that we are barely hanging on and not producing a single good work. When we find ourselves in this state, or if somebody close to us is kind enough to show us the state that we are in, it becomes essential to “prune” our life back to the basics in order to begin to grow again, to be healthy and producing again. Now, this is not something that we can manage alone, if I prune my own life, I will pick off the bits that I deem as unnecessary but will always leave behind those bits that are so important to me, but really quite dangerous. Human beings are always, first and foremost, as we said, concerned with their own personal survival and therefore I will not prune anything that would hurt me in the process. This just won’t do. If we had only pruned the most top branches of the grape vine, the tangled branches below, the ones guiding the branches at the top, would remain. No, we need somebody to help us in this situation, somebody that can look at us with eyes of love, eyes of vision, eyes that see our true potential and worth, that will snip off everything and anything that is hindering our growth.
Aren’t we blessed to have that someone in our lives? It really amazes me how God can always see past our tangledness and help us to reach out to the heavens, growing way beyond anything we previously imagined. It is something so necesarry to return back to the last straight point in my life, cut out all that doesn’t belong, and start again. In the long run, it will be well worth it, as my life, just like my grape vine, will produce a fruit that is sweet, large in number, and a blessing to all.
Happy 2012 everybody! I tried several times to blog before the new year but always got sidetracked… so this blog now comes a week into 2012 and a very hot start to our summer down here in Corrientes, Argentina! This week we are enjoying highs of 36-38°C…. thank the Lord that we were able to install air conditioning in our house a couple weeks back. It has been an amazing blessing to have an escape from the heat and a must for Isabella to sleep properlly, especially during her afternoon naps.
I have been feeling particularily “webby” since taking on the task of updating our YWAM base website while the regular girl is out on vacations. And since it is also a wordpress site, I’ve been getting quite good at changing and updating things so I thought I’d take a stab at my own site. Of course being the budget girl that I am, my site is a free one, so I don’t get all of the fancy bells and whistles but I did manage to add some videos to the Art Ministry page and the Family Life page for your viewing pleasure.
I also got back into my Cut Out and Keep account and updated some of my latest craft projects. These will all soon be available for you to check out on my new page, Controlled Chaos… My adventures in Crafts . I’ve been creating some diy laptop and tablet sleeves so I’ll try to post those ASAP as well for you to have a look at.
And as if that wasn’t enough, since January is a bit of a slower month ministry-wise (we are going every week to a needy neighbourhood and giving drama and value classes to the kids aged 5-12 that are on summer vacation) the missionaries at the YWAM North base that haven’t gone on vacations yet have been blessed by the Biblical Studies Ministry with a special seminar just for us! So all this week and next week we are learning the Inductive Method for studying the bible as well as diving into the book of 1 Thesalonians and a mystery book for next week. God has been speaking to me a lot this week through Paul’s letter to the Thesalonians and I am feeling very encouraged by his ministry and the Thesalonians growth for all that the Lord has planned this year in ministry work!!