You can not serve two masters, can not love both God and money, can not be friends with the world and belong to God… these verses are hard to swallow sometimes… they seem confusing, also a hard verse – if you do not hate your family and even your own self, you are not worth of being my disciple. These verses about hating the world and everything in it, and dieing to yourself can be difficult to grasp! Bottom line for me – is that if I love Jesus rightly, nothing else will even come close. I will lose desire for the things of the world, as I become closer to my God and see that its not worth it to pollute myself with anything else! A speaker here put it well, talking about the pipes of our lives – like the pipes of their toilet, if his son Joshua put sponge bob down the toilet (so he can go back to the ocean where he belongs) the pipes will eventually back up and nothing will flow through. They were clogged up with the wrong stuff, and it piles up so that God cant get through! I have experienced that when I am not pure with God I cant be as close to Him. All we have to do is ask Him to show us what it is between us and get rid of it, ask His forgiveness and step back close to Him, it was me who stepped back in the first place… okay I learned about this some the other night – I skyped with my family who I miss insanely right now – and when I got off I was pretty sad, I began to cry out to God, why so I feel like this?! I miss them so bad God, why am I here so far away… I almost began to blame Him for the way I was feeling… that this was obviously bad and miserable and He had told me to do it! Then when I woke up the next morning I felt different than I have most mornings here, but similar to the way I have woke up back home. I felt very empty and farther away from God than I usually do, void, alone and I didn’t know why! I cried out for God to come close and asked why He was farther away… I couldn’t feel His presence the way I have lately. And I don’t ever want to go back, I never want to be without His presence. So I kept seeking His answer, and He showed me that He was still right there waiting for me. That when I let my emotions get the best of me, and I took my life/feelings into my own hands instead of trusting Him! I wasn’t believing in His faithfulness, that He is good, and that His plan is for my best! That doubt, that I justified in my mind, was what came between us, it was my step back from God… and as soon as I let Him show me what it was and asked for His forgiveness, I had stepped back close! I know that its good to miss those I love, and that God has blessed me with! But if I let my emotions take over instead of trusting God, that’s when I have stepped back! Amazing how God is faithful to show us and be there so close, anticipating our return! He wants us to just chose Him all the time! To understand good from evil and cling to the good, hating all that’s evil (evil referring to anything not of God – music, movies, emotions and feelings towards others, anger, jealoucy, hatred……), because its not worth it, to be further from God! I value intimacy with God above all else! That hunger, desperation for intimacy with God is what brings break through in our lives! Just look to Him, chose Him throwing away all else! We have to forsake the world and all that is in it, to truly see God, the pure in heart see God and its not that easy to be pure in this world, in this life, and probably especially in our time!
Narrow and wide gates, simple, 100% kind of decision.
It can be really hard some days to figure out exactly how to handle the kids here! There is a huge begging spirit here in them because they think it works… they have learned that when they beg people eventually give in… this makes it hard to make friends with them when they are constantly asking for things and that seems to be the basis of whether or not they like you! If you give them something that day - your friends, if you don’t they don’t like you anymore! I have had to learn to treat them as my own! If you treat them as your own child, you want to do whats best for them! Even when they don’t like it… eventually they learn to respect this! It has been really fun to see some of the kids really learn to have a true friendship because I loved them they way God tells me to – Matthew 12:11 – 12 talks about how Jesus reguarded the lost like His own sheep fallen in a hole… we should see the lost the same way! As our Fathers lost loved ones He longs for us to love and bring back to Him! One boy named Tiebu is amazingly sweet and has the best smile I have seen since I got here! He tried to ask for things at first, now he is my friend! One day when his brother was particularly begging me at a little store here I was getting a little irritated and kept telling him to stop! I kept trying to teach him how to be friends and why not to beg… but I have a feeling his understanding of English didn’t quite go that far! Then I hear Tiebu saying “Annah, Annah” because they cant really say Hannah here, and I looked at him with his huge smile and he said “smilie Annah!, why you not smilie?” ha ha I had forgotten to smile because I was irritated and Tiebu knows that I am usually smiling! Ha it made me laugh really hard and God was able to speak to me through that and lighten me up! Ha the picture at the bottom is Tiebu!
We have so much to offer those who are lost, even if it feels awkward because they don’t want it at first, we have to look into eternity (value the next life more than this one) and see that honestly the truth is, if they don’t find their Father in heaven, they will spend eternity in hell! If we do not tell them because we are embarrassed or afraid of what they might say or think, we are keeping truth/treasure/eternity from them! Wow! And keeping our Daddy’s loves ones away from Him! there is also a great verse in - - about how all we work for in this life will eventually be put to the test of fire, and all that was not work for our God, all that He asks us to – serving others, the poor, telling the lost about our Daddy God, encouraging others, etc. all else, that we do for the world, pleasures… will burn up in that fire! I love this verse, because it scares me! Will my “works” stand through the fire? Or will I “barely escape through the flames” as all my earthly works burn up because essentially they were selfish…
God says simply to remember – I read Proverbs 3 today (because it’s the 3rd ☺) and it started out with “do not forget” His teaching… He spoke to me about this! He truly wants us to remember, every moment about Him, all He has said and done… the most dangerous thing we can do is forget our beloved Jesus! Wow… also in 1 Ch. 16:12, Ecc. 12:1, 1 Cor. 11:24, John 14:26, and He tells us not to forget in Dt. 6:12 and Psalms 103:2 says not to forget the benefits of the Lord! Keep dwelling on the Lord, His words He speaks to you personally and in His word, keep them close to your heart as you constantly praise Him and do not forget!
Fun bits about living in Mozambique…
My definition of dirty has changed, as I notice I am “washing” less and less clothes each week… I usually walk away from the clothes line thinking, maybe they will stink a little less… but they are so so NOT clean!
I am really bad at wearing dresses/skirts and for sure capulanas – (basically wrapping fabric around you…) never have been but this whole not showing my knees thing is really tough for me, I forget all the time! And accidentally “flash” my knees ;) ha
10 girls and 2 tiney tiney “bathrooms” 1 mirror, 1 toilet that flushes (even then you usually need to go out and find a “poo stick” to push the crap down the toilet with), and 1 shower that had a spray head… nough said
sweating to sleep… no electricity a lot of nights so not even a fan to help!
painting the bibliotecha sweating more than I though humanly possible… even when I would go running for 5 miles or so, I am sweating more now just painting or cleaning the house…
apparently I laugh in my sleep a lot… and talk, maybe prophesying according to the word I received last week.
I am sick and tired of rice and beans…
I have a hate, hate mosquito nets!!!!!!
The showers aren’t cold enough!