सोमेतिमेस, यू जुस्त गोत्ता से दित्तो

I have no idea what is happening with my title, but what I wrote in English, says that sometimes you just have to say "ditto"

A dear friend I met in Knoxville TN sends out great bible studies...this one in particular struck me as a prophetic utterance that needs to be understood by all who call themselves Christian. Think about this:

Nothing shows us the absolute need of the New Birth and of the Holy Spirit Baptism and its work in our life so much as the Sermon on the Mount.


Matthew 5: 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

These are not natural qualities. Nobody by birth and by nature is like this. But Jesus is saying that all Christians will manifest all of these characteristics. It is not right to say that some are meant to be "poor in spirit," and some are meant to "mourn," and some are meant to be "peacemakers," and etc. Every Christian must be all of them, and to manifest all of them--this is his character.

We cannot divide Christians into two groups-religious leaders and laity, exceptional Christians and ordinary Christians-one who makes a vocation of Christian life- and the man or woman who works in a factory, office, field, etc. There are distinctions of offices-Apostles, Pastors, Evangelists, but the Beatitudes are not a description of offices; they are a description of a Christian. They are the fundamental characteristics of the Christian.

In the New Testament Epistles we see how all believers are addressed. "Beloved of God, called to be saints (Romans 1:7); "called to be saints,.." (1 Corinthians 1:2); "to the Saints which are in Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 1:1).

We must face the fact that when we stand before God in the great Judgment Day we will be judged by the Sermon on the Mount. (John 12:48)


Luke 4:18

Break our hearts, Lord, break our hearts. For the lives lost in Haiti, each one loved by you, break our hearts. For those who have lost family members -- sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers -- break our hearts. For those who have lost homes and belongings, who sleep on the streets, break our hearts. For the crippling poverty that afflicts millions of Haitians, break our hearts. For our complicity in the sinful structures and systems that lead to oppression and injustice, break our hearts. For the state of your creation -- groaning for redemption and restoration -- break our hearts. And then put us back together so that with peace, humility, and your perspective, we might work toward seeing your kingdom on earth. Amen.


The Third Culture

Okay, I am officially joining the third culture

This is how Pastor Dave Gibbons puts it:

Third culture is about the fusion of multiple cultures, the art of adaptation, dialogue rather than dictation, diplomacy over strong arm tactics, and the embrace of discomfort as part of the journey to real community. Third culture is the mindset and will to love, learn and serve in any culture even in the midst of pain and discomfort. In short, 3rdCulture is PAINFUL ADAPTATION.

I learned a long time ago, that living in community really sucks! But it is the only way to really see if you can love your neighbor as yourself!

It Bears repeating

I was shocked as I read the statistics from ToyBox, a great group from England, who help us in Latin America.

Then I realized, that I am aware of each of these numbers. Having not compiled them like that, it just didn't strike me.

Indifference to the plight of our little brothers and sisters isn't a planned response. It is what naturally happens when we don't plan a response.

Because of the people that support the work that Shyrel does at Amor del Niño, one of the statistics is really close to home. The report said that every 4 days, a child is abandoned in the streets of Guatemala. Every 5th one of them has come to Amor. Shyrel wants to make that every other one...then every one.

The harvest is ripe. Pray to the Lord of the harvest for workers!!!


Praise the Lord

We are working on a number of ways to network people and projects in Guatemala. Somehow because of my big mouth, I am involved, and sort of representing the child care folks.

I am encouraged by a network of Pastors who are trying to be willing to answer John the Baptist's requirement for being prepared for the Kingdom. ( Luke 3:3) and hope to be working wiht them closely this year.

Cause for Praise!

Then, what do you think of the following thought? Leanard Cohen wrote many years ago the most haunting song I think I have ever heard, regarding God, Life and Love. I am a sucker for anyone singing Praise the Lord, even in that mixed up mix of languages where it comes out Halelujah. It has finally become pop, even heard in SHREK, and he seems to be touring too, and singing it everywhere.

Heretic or a modern inspired Song of Songster?

When asked what he thought of modern Christianity, he said this:

Leonard Cohen: I don't really have a 'take on the state
of Christianity.' But when I read your question, this answer came to
mind: As I understand it, into the heart of every Christian, Christ
comes, and Christ goes. When, by his Grace, the landscape of the heart becomes vast and deep and limitless, then Christ makes His abode in that graceful heart, and His Will prevails. The experience is recognized as Peace. In the absence of this experience much activity arises, divisions of every sort. Outside of the organizational enterprise, which some applaud and some mistrust, stands the figure of Jesus, nailed to a human predicament, summoning the heart to comprehend its own suffering by dissolving itself in a radical confession of hospitality.

What do you think? I really want ot know.


Congratulations, Norma!

You don't need to understand Spanish to get the point of the front page of the Prensa Libre.

Our good friend, Norma Cruz, was awarded the person of the year award.

Glad for her, but even gladder for the potential hope this gives to the people in Guatemala who stand up for Justice.

Pray for Norma!