Saturday, October 11, 2008

From Silly to Serious

Good morning!
How are you? How's everything in Texas? The weather is so perfect today I wish I could play tennis. There is only one place to play here and it is for the richest of the rich. There are 3 other students who play tennis. We found old wooden rackets, but with no court, they are useless.
Yesterday was a fun day. About 10 students and our teachers rode a chicken bus to a nearby city to participate in a corn party. It sounds better in Spanish "La fiesta del maiz". The Mayans believe that they were made from corn and it is one of their biggest exports, so they celebrate it once a year. We watched a children's program complete with costumes that exploded with fireworks. I think that would be considered a safety hazard in Plano ISD. Then we ate all kinds of food made from corn. My favorite was a tostado with beans. When we returned, I had 1 more hour of class. My brain was tired and I was ready for the weekend. She asked me questions and I could only comprehend one word at a time. That happens occasionally and my patient teacher just keeps on trying. Last night I went to beautiful Hotel Antigua to listen to 80's music. We thought about dressing up in 80's clothing. I'm so glad we didn't because many people there were in formal attire. Then we met some friends outside the school. People get silly when they are bored. See below:
Then, Chelsea and I went to our favorite coffee shop, Higher Grounds. The Youth With A Mission staff and friends were there just hanging out in the closed shop. We set up the big screen used for church and ate cake while watching a movie.
Last night I did some reading like always. Here I am with my headlight. There is a small English library at Higher Grounds where I check out books. Since I do not go out much past dark and I do not have TV or Internet at home, I have a LOT of time to read, which has been great.

I enjoyed The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and The Miracle Worker about Helen Keller. These books reminded me of how blessed we are to have freedom and health.

In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership was written by Henri J.M. Nouwen, an intelligent college professor who went to live among and love handicapped people. His conclusion sums up the book well. "He asks us to move from a concern for relevance to a life of prayer, from worries about popularity to communal and mutual ministry, and from a leadership built on power to a leadership in which we critically discern where God is leading us and our people."

Comments from the next book come from my journal. This one was so helpful, I want to share it all with you.

The Awakening That Must Come by Lewis A. Drummond

The point: Prayer is what will bring revival. How to pray?

Text: Acts 12:5 - "Prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him" (Peter to be released from prison).

1) Unto God

"When we take the name of God on our lips, we must be vividly conscious to whom we speak. He is the mighty Creator; he is the powerful Sustainer; he is the gracious Redeemer; he is God Almighty of consuming holiness, the sovereign Lord."

Isaiah 6:3 - "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." Come to him with reverence.

2) Prayer in Jesus' Name

We are not worthy to pray to God. "Because of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, he is our worthiness." Praying in Jesus' name is not just a phrase we put at the end of a prayer. "It is an expression of a vitally important attitude and stance before God."

3) Praying in the Will of God

Bible reading and prayer go hand in hand. Read the Bible to find out what the will of God is. "Praying in the known will of God always leads to a confident prayer of faith. I John 5:14-15 - "this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him."

Does God want to send revival? See Ps. 85:1-6, Hab. 3:2, 2 Peter 3:9. Yes.

4) The Prayer of Faith

James 1:5-8 - "Let him ask God who gives to all men generously...But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord." "2 things are normally necessary to rise to that realm of confidence in prayer. One, we need to know that what we ask for is God's desire. Secondly, we usually have to pray long enough that the Holy Spirit can give us the inner assurance that our prayer is heard." Sometimes we give up too soon. Pray until the answer comes. Prevail.

5) Praying in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18)

"The Holy Spirit is the teacher in God's school of prayer. He is the one who inspires, instructs, leads, enables, and directs the God-centered prayers of God's people to God's throne room. The Holy Spirit actually prays through the submissive believer and lifts both the prayer and person praying right into God's glorious presence. He intercedes with groanings which cannot be uttered - Romans 8:26. Therefore, all prevailing prayer begins and ends in the believer's openness and yieldedness to the moving of the Spirit to prayer. We must listen to his voice; he knows how to pray unto God."

6) Deal with Sin

I John 1:6-9 - He is faithful to forgive. "One cannot walk in sin's darkness and God's light at the same time. Sin will inevitably extinguish the light of God's conscious presence and darken our whole spiritual experience." We must confess our sins specifically and regularly as the Holy Spirit convicts.

7) Together

"There is great prayer power in the united people of God interceding for needs." Matt. 18:19-20.

8) Be Specific

Make your requests "definite, pointed, answerable". When we pray vague prayers we sometimes do not recognize when the answer comes.

This book really gives me some direction concerning prayer. I hope one of the points helps you too.

Well, I am off to explore the town, possibly pick up a few souvenirs. I just have 6 weeks left. I want to make every moment count.

I love and miss you,


1 comment:

Kim said...

Hey T!
You're weeekend updates are the reason I love Monday's now. You are an awesome example of who I want to be like when I grow up (as if that'll ever happen- at least it gives me something to reach for) Love you sweetie and can't wait for next month. We're always praying for you! AK