Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Becca!


Roly poly


Always excited!

Always ready to explore

She looked great last year with no front teeth

Always ready to be silly

Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love and Kisses!

These are pictures that mean "love" to me!  Happy Valentine's Day!
Just might be my favorite picture.

Yes, this one means "love" to me.  Don't you see the love??

The little baldie is Elisabeth

"If only I had showed up on the doorstep of non-huggers."  (She's getting used to the affection, and I think she likes it now.)

Cynthia performed this service for all of my young crew.  More than once.  That's love.

She also felt the need to lie down on the grass for a while afterward for some reason.  I can only spin two at the most.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Love yourself?

I often hear people say, "You can't love others until you love yourself."  Love of one's self is encouraged, and expected for a healthy mindset.  The logic is, if you don't love yourself, you won't respect your own self worth, or take care of yourself, or be able to value anyone else.  You won't think you deserve anything good, so you will let people abuse you, and take advantage of you. 

Honestly, I don't disagree with the basic premise. When someone hates themselves, wants to hurt themselves, and goes about to destroy their own lives and bodies, it is evidence that something is wrong.  It is not normal or natural to live in self-loathing, or for a human to have a wish to end or ruin their own life.  Normal humans feed, adorn, bathe, and cherish their own bodies without even thinking they are doing something loving for themselves, but caring for the needs of someone is the surest way to love them.  We entertain ourselves, and try to protect ourselves from harm, and hurt.  These are all actions of self-love.  Even people with no respect for themselves will snatch their hand away from an open flame.  Why would someone do that if there was no love for themselves in their lives?

I do have a problem with the statement, "You can't love others until you learn to love yourself."  What's my beef with that?  It's the focus of that statement.  It is completely absent of God and His love.  Why is this important?  It's important because God's love blasts any little love we might have for ourselves to smithereens.1   You can never take God's love for us out of an equation and have a complete picture of reality.  And reality is this; our true value, as God values us, is beyond our own comprehesion.

A biblical point of view gives us a complete picture of ourselves.  In the mirror of God's Word, we see that we are born in sin,2 something abominable to God, but that He took upon Himself our own nature so that He could bear the payment for our sins on His body.3 This shows us that God's value for us was His own blood.  When we see that truth, a poor self-image is just a lie we believe, and so is self-importance and pride. Truth?  I am precious to God.  I can love myself with all my might and main, but I could never love myself like He does.  And the focus of the Bible, the greatest commandment in the Bible, is not to love myself with all my might.  It's to love Him with all my might.4  Why?  Because His love is enough.

For many of us, the problem comes when we look at our faults and failures, we often read our own worth through them.  God has given us something to do with our faults, and it is not ignore them, pretend they don't exist, or pretend they don't matter. (I believe that's called denial) God never valued me based on my goodness.  If that were true, He would have tossed me out a long time ago.  He values me because of Who He is, He saved me from my sin because of His love for me, and the more I know Him, the more peace and confidence I can have about my position before Him.

I am so thankful for the love of my God!  His love is worthy of being talked about, lifted up, and researched.  During this month, when we are seeing little lacy hearts everywhere, and eating cute, pastel, heart-shaped candy, remember God's love for you, and how precious you are to Him.

1.)  1Jn 4:9  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 
2.)  Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  
3.)  2Co 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
4.)  Mark 12:30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

A little compassion...

A new family came this morning, their second visit.  They have a baby girl and a two year old boy, both of whom came to the nursery with me.  Victor had been pretty good in Sunday School, which surprised me, because I had watched him last week, his first visit, and he had squalled 80% of the time.  It's so hard for a small one to get used to the idea that these strangers won't keep you forever, they will be nice to you, give you crackers, and then give you back to mommy pretty quick.

I took the nursery for the church service, and he started to protest when he noticed the Changing of the Guard.  The nice lady he was used to was leaving, without his permission, and I was taking her place.  He was not amused.  He started to shriek when she closed the door, he shrieked when I looked at him, he shrieked when I offered him a toy without making eye contact, and he really raised the roof when Moises, the other toddler, decided he wanted some of the toys Victor was hoarding.  I put Moises in the middle of some other toys, and turn part of my back on Victor, where I could see him out of the corner of my eye.  Sitting on the floor, we began making towers with blocks.  This is usually irresistible for small boys, as they always want to help building, or see what happens when you knock it down.  The shrieking subsided to a miserable whimper, as Victor began to be interested in the project.

Then I noticed something.  As he mumbled complaints against me and Moises, Victor was pulling his ear and twisting his pinky inside constantly.  Light bulb!  I said, "Your ear hurts, doesn't it?"  He looked at me and nodded seriously.  I said, "I'm sorry, ears hurt a lot when they hurt."  He nodded again, then offered some advice on the construction of my tower.  I told him he'd better show me what he meant, and he reached over and began to build up my tower.

After that he was my buddy.  Yes, his ear hurt, but what he really wanted was to know that someone understood, and was on his side.

Jude 1:22  And of some have compassion, making a difference:

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Urgent prayer request!

Dear friends, please pray for our fellow laborers here-the Jaimez family was in an accident tonight. Bro. Ismael was taken by ambulance to the a private hospital here. He has a shoulder injury, and they are keeping him in observation because of concerns about internal bleeding. There is concern in the lung area. His wife, Hrma. Paty has a bruised leg. The car was hit on the driver's side and spun, so they are both dealing with whiplash.  Please pray for them!  We love them like family;  they are godly, servant-hearted, and faithful.