How many times have you said the Lord’s Prayer? I was recently reading a devotional, and the author pointed out something that I’ve continued to think about….The prayer starts with “Our Father” not “My Father.” Living in a community focused culture for the past several years, I am often reminded that here “I” and “my” don’t come first. It has been a wonderful (and Biblical) change in perspective for me, and a great reminder that the Kingdom of Heaven is not reflective of any one nation or people group–it’s a reflection of the King of Kings. So, as we pray to Our Father, let’s remember our brothers and sisters, let’s lift our community–the whole body of Christ.
Was a new broom on your “must get” list for the New Year? No? Well, in GM, it’s very common to see buckets with new brooms for sale right before New Year’s. In a culture steeped in superstition, the idea is that throwing away your old broom means leaving behind the negative parts of the old year. By contrast, many believe that starting fresh with a new broom helps get the New Year off to a great start.
In GM, Christmas is celebrated on January 7. While this photo reflects the spirit of the New Year season here, Christmas itself is quite simple and humble by comparison (not a bad thing at all). Orthodox christians start the holiday at midnight by lighting a candle and placing it in a window. This candle is an invitation to Jesus to come into their homes and their hearts.
It’s a beautiful tradition, but for some, it has become only that. I recently asked a group of teens that I teach what this candle symbolized. Out of five students, none of them knew. Please join us in praying that the true meaning of Christmas would be embraced by many here. That next year, the lighting of that simple candle, would be a wonderful reflection of their own spiritual journey.
We’ve had a lot of big transitions in the past year, but this one is the biggest for our family. Please pray for our oldest as she starts a five month discipleship program in the US today. We are thankful for this opportunity for her, and we know that God will use it mightily in her life.
Snow on the mountain roads sometimes means closures that back things up for many, many kilometers. These semis were sitting on the side of the road waiting for everything to open again. (We reached a point where the right lane was also completely blocked by parked trucks). The line went on and on…here’s a photo of one guy trying to see just how far.
We’ve seen this same sentiment spray painted around town, and we get it. We’re all (globally) tired of this pandemic. It has changed and taken a lot. Yesterday our dear friend, my local mom as I call her, texted saying that she now has the virus. Please pray for a speedy and good recovery for her. Let’s also ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in speaking words of hope as we meet people who are also “Sick ‘N Tired.” And, if you’re one of those people today, may you be held by and rest in the lavish love and grace of Jesus.
Two students, that we met through the international student hangout that we host, asked to meet with us to discuss God. (Praise Him! He works in His time and in His way!) As we sat together, they shared their personal journeys of searching. They had questions, and when we shared that we sometimes have questions too, they really opened up. For years, in their home countries, they have been told NOT to ask questions–to just follow. They verbalized how different it was to be told that questions are ok and even welcomed.
Let’s be people who are ok with questions, because we see in scripture that God is ok with questions. Let’s be willing to share our own “Whys?” or “Hows?” with those that God brings our way knowing that He is working. Praise God–He is working! Please pray for H and A as He works in their hearts.