miércoles, 15 de septiembre de 2010

Holding On......sometimes ends in a mess

This is Marcos. Recently we blew bubbles together. I purposely held the bubbles so they wouldn't spill. After just a short bit it became quite apparent that he wanted to hold the bubbles. I started out with a simple "No". However our struggle grew and I realized this little guy was quite determined. So I began my explanation of what could happen if I gave him the bubble bottle. He seemed unimpressed and kept fighting me for the bubbles. As stubborn as I can be, I finally caved and let him have the bubbles and just like I expected he spilled the bubbles all down the front of his shirt as the bottle fell to the ground spilling out on the ground around it.
Later that night God brought this back to my memory. As I recalled the sequence of events, He spoke these truths to my heart. Often I am like Marcos, wanting so badly to hold onto a situation, a relationship, control over my loved ones, a career, whatever it may be. As long as it is in the Lord's hands, I can dip my wand in the bubbles and enjoy. However the moment I grab things back and take control things begin to get messy. I find if I try and manipulate the situation around me when I know God is wanting differently things get messy. I've seen it in my teen years when I wanted a relationship to last longer even after God told me to let it go, or when I thought I knew making more money would make me happier and it didn't, and now wishing things were different with my mom and not wanting to feel the hurt. God wants differently. He wants to be in control and asks me to trust. Who's holding the bubbles in your life?

Taking someone along.....

Last week I found myself going to a children's home and God put it on my heart to ask Alonna to come with me. Alonna is 11 and just moved here with her family from North Carolina. I was impressed with how quickly she spoke the spanish she knew. First we helped one girl with her math multiplication table, then we moved to playing with the little ones. Bubbles, swings, games. We had a lot of fun. As I thought about our time I realized one general truth.........
"Ministry is so much more fun with someone else." I used to be afraid of doing ministry with others. I think its because I put way too much pressure on myself to "know it all" or have all the right answers or make sure I was not showing my weaknesses. Recently God has taught me alot about sharing ministry experiences with sometimes finding myself learning from others and sometimes God using me to teach others. I have been reading a lot about the early church these days and how Paul always seemed to have someone with him or send others to the places he had been. I am learning how God wants to use us all together to do His work. All the parts coming together to work towards the common goal of bringing others to Him and glorfying Him.

The blessing of being remembered......

This week I had the opportunity to pass on letters, photos and small gifts to some kids at a children's home near our apartment. The first boy is all of four years old and is cute as can be. I showed him the letter from my friend that had his photo with her on it. He is too little to read and especially not english. But as soon as he saw the photo he smiled and pointed at my friend. As I asked if he remembered her, he grinned from ear to ear and said yes. He listened intently as I attempted to translate the letter. He couldn't have been happier. As he sat there holding the letter, his face reflected contentment on being remembered. After some pictures and a quick video of him saying "tank you and I luv you", with a little coaching from Caroline, another B2B staff, I went to find a little girl for whom I also had things.
This girl is older, I'm guessing 8 or so. As we find her, I pull out the things another friend gave me to give to her. This included a photo album with the girl and my friend and my friend's family. She thumbed through the pages, her smile growing with every turn. She had very few words but as she walked off, she headed straight for her friends to tell them that she had been remembered. What a powerful witness to a child at a children's home. God loves you so much that He sent someone to play with you for a day, couple of days, a week. Then a time much later you receive word from them. They remembered you. Its a message that you are special. Its a message that you are loved. It's the message of Jesus Christ offers to all of us as we face what we deserve death, but He says you I remembered as I died on the cross for you and rose again so that you can live with me now and forever. I remembered you.....

First Day of School photos

It's that time of year. This year there are a few changes for SMCA (Sierra Madre Christian Academy) and the Huffer family. First of all, all of our boys have Ms. Jessica. Mark has had Ms. Ruby for almost all of his time in SMCA. Last year he was the oldest in his class and now he is the youngest. He misses Ms. Ruby however is enjoying Ms. Jessica. Luke and Josh have a girl in their class as Alonna Clouse joined them this year. Angela and Lonnie Clouse are a new family that along with Alonna, add two boys to SMCA, Brayden and Leyton. Also this year in SMCA we have a new Jr. High and High School. It is online with Sevenstar Academy. The Whiteds are another new family that has joined us here with B2B. Stacey and David have two kids, Colton who is a junior and Averee who is in 8th grade with Ben. Ben finally has a classmate. So far it seems to be going well. We are truly blessed with our great teachers, Jessica and Ruby
Jessica Biondo and Ruby Moyer have been our teachers last year and Ruby 2 years more. We are so blessed to have them. Our great school allows us as parents not to worry about our kids. They never made this decision. We did and yet they are a important part of our family. We ask that you would pray for these two great girls as they teach our 13 kids combined. Also will you pray for their support as they need to raise money as well. Thanks for praying for us in this way.

domingo, 5 de septiembre de 2010

Just being transparent.......

This is a picture of me,two of my sisters and my Mom last Christmas. I can't tell you enough about my mom. She is the life of the party, a pretty lady, tough as nails and sensitive to all around her. She has never known a stranger and a lover of the Lord. I'm not sure Blogger will allow me enough words to tell you all about her. Suffice it to say she is a wonderful person and I'm blessed that she is my Mom. The last 5 years or so, She has battled with Parkinson's disease and my Dad has battled right there with her. Last year about his time, My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. I won't bore you the details, however to say the least for several years now, It has been difficult to see my mom go down hill. This past month she has fallen into the latter stages of Alzheimer's and she has severe back pain to boot.
In my role here at B2B, I feel like people often think we are super people or something. Really so far from the truth its laughable. However, I have found myself expecting more from me because of it. As if I think I should be super something. It makes me wonder if we do that to those in ministry because then we know that what God has expected of them surely He won't expect from me. I am guilty of it also when I read that Moody prayed 3 hours every morning or that someone else was asked to give up all they own or another sacrifice I can't possible imagine doing. Just to clarify I don't think I'm a Moody or a Graham or all that and a bag of chips. However when I hear others say they admire me I wonder what for and what should I be doing to gain this. The truth is they see the Lord and how He enables me to do extraordinary things with just ordinary me. So I am learning in this very difficult time, to not keep this to myself. To ask for help and prayer and to continue to do the only ordinary thing I know how. Trust. The Bible says that when we are weak, He is made strong. I am trusting that his strength shines through, not mine (truth is right now I have none). My faith frees me from being who others think I should be and do and instead pray out my feelings, listen for His words and obey what He calls me to do.
My mom is currently in a nursing home and last week I had the opportunity to spend a week with my Dad and visit her. Such a difficult week and one I will cherish forever. God is showing me how privileged we are to experience those intimate times with loved ones. Thank you Lord. I am Blessed.