Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kid´s Kitchen Ministry

Children are the main focus of our ministry and have been for the 23 years we have been on the mission field. We take the words of JESUS very seriously when HE said in Luke 18:16 Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of God.

Every other Saturday throughout the year, the church in Ochomogo feeds the children in the community (if funds are available). The number of children fed is normally between 40 to 60. After the meal a devotional is given, a memory verse is taught, and songs are sung.

At Christmas time we always want to make it a bit more special. This year on December 13th we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ and had the last Kid´s Kitchen of 2008. The menu was arroz con pollo, papas fritas, bebida, and helados. After the meal, the children gathered in the auditorium where Don Samuel (my husband and pastor of the church) had a movie ready for them. He showed a Veggie Tales video that told about the birth of Christ and the true meaning of Christmas followed by a question and answer time. Afterwards, Doña Rebecca had games and activities ready for them. Following the activities there was a piñata which is always a big hit with the children. As a small gift, each child was given a bag of apples and grapes. These were donated by a friend of Doña Rebecca who purchased the fruit with funds given by her co-workers at a nearby paint factory.

The children enjoying their meal.

Youngest child present. She slept through it all.

Happy, smiling, beautiful children.

Two of the several ladies who help with the cooking and clean-up.

Doña Rebecca organizing the children for games and activities time.


Everyone loves to take a swing at the piñata.

Doña Rebecca´s friend handing out the bags of apples and grapes to the children.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Searching the Scripture

Lesson 2 The Person of GOD

Part 3

In today´s study we will take a walk through Scripture to have a look at GOD´s moral attributes, of which there are many. This is going to be like a Bible Drill, so have your Bible ready and be prepared to search the Scripture.

1) GOD is holy.
Exodus 15:11; I Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 6:3; and I Peter 1:16.

2) GOD is righteous.
Psalm 116:5; Ezra 9:15; Psalm 145:17; and Jeremiah 12:1.

3) GOD is merciful.
Psalm 103:8; Deuteronomy 4:31; Psalm 86:15; and Romans 9:18.

4) GOD is love.
I John 4:8-16; John 3:16; I John 3:16; and John 16:27.

5) GOD is faithful.
I Corinthians 1:9; II Timothy 2:13; Deuteronomy 7:9; and Deuteronomy 32:4.

6) GOD is glorious.
Exodus 15:11

7) GOD is long suffering.
Numbers 14:18.

8) GOD is compassionate.
I Kings 8:23.

9) GOD is unsearchable.
Job 11:7.

10) GOD is good.
Psalm 25:8.

11) GOD is immutable.
Psalm 102:26-27

12) GOD is true.
Jeremiah 10:10.

13) GOD is incorruptible.
Romans 1:23

14) GOD is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:39.

15) GOD is gracious.
Psalm 116:5

16) GOD is jealous.
Joshua 24:1.

17) GOD is great.
Psalm 86:10.

18) GOD is invisible.
Job 23:8-9.

19) GOD is upright.
Psalm 92:15.

20) GOD is light.
Isaiah 60:19.

21) GOD is perfect.
Matthew 5:48.

22) GOD is immortal.
I Timothy 1:17.

23) GOD - there is none like HIM.
Exodus 9:14.

Keep searhing. Keep growing.

Abundant blessings.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Quote to Ponder

Wear the old coat and buy the new book. Austin Phelps

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Quote to Ponder

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then -- we elected them. Lily Tomlin

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Cookies

We have a Christmas cookie-making tradition in our family, and although only the two of us will be celebrating Christmas together this year, the tradition continues. Our five children (their spouses and our grandchildren) are rather scattered this year (Georgia, Florida, and California). I spent two days this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) making cookies and scones. Well over a thousand of them. I am quickly giving them away. I´ve lost 10 pounds in the last month and a half and certainly don´t want to get it back by eating cookies.

Here´s a sample of the varieties I made. The square ones are Scottish shortbeard with coconut and cinnamon. Below the shortbeards are oatmeal, two kinds, one with chocolate chips and the other with raisins. To the right of the oatmeal cookies are chocolate chip cookies with almond slivers, and to the left are peppermint flavored, spiraled sugar cookies. Below the chocolate chip cookies are peanut butter cookies (my husband´s favorite) and last but not least, at the bottom center of the plate, are ginger snaps (my favorite).
Here is a close up of the peppermint flavored spiraled sugar cookies. I was going to make candy cane cookies with the dough, but it was after 4 p.m. and I had been baking since 6 a.m., and I was tired. So I just rolled the doughs together into a log, chilled the log, sliced and baked them.

I also made scones and devonshire cream. The scones contain cranberries and almond slivers. I once tasted real devonshire cream. It was wonderful. Of course, here in Costa Rica there is no such thing, so I make my own with available ingredients. Really simple. It is just cream cheese and confectioner´s sugar. The amount of sugar depends on how sweet you want the spread. You can add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, or other spices if you like. It depends on what I put in the scones, what spices I add to the cream. Just refrigerate it and spread it on as needed.
Hope each of you have a wonderful Christmas.
Blessings from Costa Rica.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Earthquakes Update

I´ve gotten abit behind on my earthquake posts, and apologize. I will try to do better.

Had a busy day - earthquakewise- earlier this week. On the night of the 15th and morning of the 16th we had at least three quakes. The first was at 10:53 p.m. on the 15th. It was a 5.0 with a depth of 39 km. At 12:16 a.m. on the 16th we had a second quake that measured 3.0 with a depth of 12 km. Both of the quakes were due to movement of a local fault. There was another quake around 4:16 a.m. that woke me up, and although the seimographs in several locations registered the tremor, there has been no official reporting of it.

In the first week of December there have been 85 tremors/quakes.

In the month of November there were 469 tremors/quakes.

Worth a Thousand Words

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Searching the Scripture

Lesson 2 - The Person of GOD

Part 1

The Bible is our only source of true knowledge about GOD.

Read John 1:18; I John 4:12; Exodus 33:20; and Exodus 33:24.

We know from Scripture that Moses talked with GOD and saw part of Him but he did not see GOD´s face.

Jesus, the Son of God, came from heaven to earth to reveal GOD the Father to us.

Read John 14:7-11. Here Jesus tells Philip that He, Jesus, is the revelation of GOD.

The wisdom of the world would say we must know ourselves. However, Jesus says we must know the Father.

Read John 17:3. If we are to have eternal life we must know GOD the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son.

What is personality? It can be characterized by possessing knowledge, feelings, and will power. An idol is devoid of personality. It has no knowledge, no intelligence. It cannot feel emotion. It has no will and it cannot respond. GOD, however, has personality. He is an individual and He has definite characteristics.

GOD is a person. He is not some unseen force or power like electricity.

Read Jeremiah 10:10; Acts 14:15; I Thessalonians 1:9, II Chronicles 16:9; and Psalm 94:11.

GOD is a Spirit. This means He has no flesh or bones or blood.

Read John 4:24; I Timothy 1:17; and I Timothy 6:16.

The LORD our GOD is one God and one God only In contrast, pagan cultures have many gods.

Read Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:6; and Isaiah 45:21

In this part of our second lesson we have seen that GOD has personality. We have also looked at GOD´s nature (Spirit) and at GOD´s unity (the only GOD). In our next lesson we will begin looking at His Natural and Moral Attributes.

Keep growing.

Abundant Blessings.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shall We Gather at the River

Yesterday, December 14, 2008, we had the honor and privilege to baptize five new believers. This is a very important, and for many, a very difficult step of obedience in a new believers life of faith.

The journey to the river is always a joyous ocassion. We left the church in Ochomogo at 7 a.m. and made the hour and a half-long trip by bus to the river above the town of Cachi. It is a beautiful place in the clouds above the Orosi Valley. A few hundred feet from the pool we use is a rustic cabin that we rent for the services. It is tranquil and pleasant there. We want to share some photos of the day with you.

On reaching the cabin, Samuel opened the service with a greeting to all that had come to join the celebration of this special time.

The Scripture reading followed and was taken from Matthew 3:1-17. This passage speaks of the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Bro. William, the head deacon of the church, brought a wonderful message about baptism and what it symbolizes in the life of a Christian.

After the message, those who were to be baptized came forward and Samuel spoke to them briefly about what following Christ in baptism meant to each of them personally. Afterwards, we all gathered around them to pray for them and their obedient walk with Christ.

Together we walked upstream to the pool where we baptize. The pool was clear and the water was brisk. This photo was taken from the ledge above the pool.

Another photo of the pool. This one was taken below the ledge and downstream.

Doña Oliva wept with joy as she was baptized. She is a cancer survivor and has no doubt of the miracle God performed in her life.

Xiomara was the youngest of those baptized. She is 13. Her mother and older sister were also baptized.

Doña Maria Elena is a very special friend to us. Almost from the beginning of our ministry here in Costa Rica, she opened her home to us for Bible study, for the ladies outreach, for the July puppet-VBS ministry. She has listened to the gospel of Jesus Christ for over 6 years, and a few months ago she came forward for salvation. This was a joyous day for us and for her as well. Both of her daughters , Xiomara and Catalina, were baptized as well.

Catalina, Xiomara´s older sister and Doña Maria Elena´s daughter, was also baptized. Samuel had the privilege of conducting her wedding just a few weeks ago. We are praying that her husband will soon be making a decision for Christ.

Don Maximillan (Max) was baptized as well. He is Doña Oliva´s fiance and they hope to be married soon. They wanted Jesus in their lives before saying their wedding vows to one another.
We ask that you would keep these five in your prayers as they begin their new lives in obedience to Christ.

We want to share a few more photos with you.

The small fall below the pool.

A close-up shot of the fall.

Looking downstream from the pool.

Downstream from the pool, at the stream´s edge. Everything is lush and green.

Clouds rolling over the mountaintops and into the valleys.

The waterfall at the head of the valley as seen from the cabin.

This couple are very special people, Don Fernando Chinchilla and his wife, Doña Mayela. They own the cabin where we have the services before walking up to the pool, and where we have lunch and fellowship after the baptism. Doña Mayela had a huge pot of hot coffee waiting for us when we returned from the pool. They both accepted Christ 4 years ago and are faithful witnesses of how He can change lives. Pray for them. Doña Mayela has been battling cancer and Don Fernando has lost a leg. Despite the hardships they are and have suffered, they joyously proclaim that it is all to God´s glory.
Blessings to you all.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Quote to Ponder

Forgiveness is almost a selfish act because of it immense benefits to the one who forgives. Lawana Blackwell

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Share the Blessings 2008 Update

Greetings to all from Costa Rica

As of today, we have received enough donations to provide 19 of the 33 children with a gift this Christmas. We still need help for 14 more children. We ask that you would keep this need in your prayers and please share it with others. You can make this Christmas special for one (or more) of these children. If you would like to see the photos of the children, go to the archives on the left-hand side of the page and click on October. The post entitled Share the Blessings 2008 is dated Oct. 24th. Blessings to you all.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Searching the Scripture

Part 3

Look around you. See the planet we live on. The stars and moon light the night sky. The sun marks the days, months, and years of our lives. The rain waters the earth. The wind moves through the trees. All of this came some somewhere. Someone or something caused it to come into being.

Look at a book. Someone wrote it. Someone printed it. The book did not write itself, produce itself, print itself. It required the acts of an intelligent being.

Look at the building around you. Someone built it. Someone planned it. Cement, sand, lumber, pipes, wire, windows and roofing didn´t suddenly start swirling around and over time formed the structure.

The person who denies God would have you believe that everything - the trees, the sun, the stars, the mountains, even you - just happened accidentally.

If you took all the pieces required to make a watch - gears, springs, hands, etc. - and put them in a sack, how many millions of years would you have to shake the sack before a watch would form? It would never happen. And yet atheists want us to believe that over eons of time everything formed by accident. This is not an intelligent deduction. The sensible answer to all creation is that it is the act of an intelligent being we call GOD.

Let´s return to our watch. It not only is, but it needs a designer. It was planned with a purpose - telling time.

If we will take a close look at the world around us it is obvious that everything large or microscopic shows design and purpose. Our world has a designer and a creator. It was not an accident and neither are we.

Man is intelligent and he has a moral nature. Conscience teaches man right from wrong. Regardless of what an evolutionist pretends to believe and wants you to believe, life comes from life. In the beginning life came from a Being who possesses eternal life. Such life can only be found in GOD.

Read Psalm 36:9. GOD is the source of life. Non-living things don´t suddenly become living things. Life is in GOD and in His Son Jesus who says various times that He is Life.

Read John 11:25 and John 14:6. In John 10:28 Jesus says He gives us eternal life. Life has a beginning and that beginning is GOD.

Atheism solves no problems and answers none of mankind´s questions. When we accept Genesis 1:1 ¨In the beginning GOD... ¨ we are led into a fuller understanding of life and of GOD Himself.

Read Hebrews 11:6. Like children we must have a simple faith. We must come to Him in complete trust.

Do you have that simple faith? Do you trust Him?

Remember, read the Bible and pray. This is how you grow in the LORD.

Abundant Blessings.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Quote to Ponder

I just want to say this. I want to say it gently but I want to say it firmly. There is a tendency for the world to say to America, "the problems of the world are yours, you go and sort them out" and then to worry when America wants to sort them out. Tony Blair

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Searching the Scripture

GOD exists. We know this is true. All around us is evidence of HIS existence. We need only open our eyes and look around.

Turn to Psalm 19:1 and read it slowly to yourself. The words are beautiful and powerful. The beauty and the glory of the heavens shout out the existence of GOD.

Read Romans 1:20. All creation teaches us about GOD and HIS eternal power. Those who chose to deny GOD's existence have no excuse. Creation declares that GOD is. If we accept the Scripture we will acknowledge the existence of GOD.

Man has a universal belief in a supreme being. Every tribe on every continent believe in a being higher and greater than themselves, and they believe that this being creates and has power over creation.

Read Romans 2:15 The existence of GOD is written in the human heart and mind.

Read Acts 17:23. Although they did not know HIM personally, the Athenians knew that GOD existed.

It is doubtful that a true atheist exists. A blind man may say that the sun does not exist because he cannot see it, but that does not change the fact that the sun does indeed rise and set every day.

Why are some so insistent that GOD does not exist? It isn't because they cannot find HIM. Rather it is because if HE exists then they are faced with the fearful responsibility of being accountable to HIM for their deeds. The atheist says there is no GOD. In this way he is not responsible to anyone and he can live and die as he pleases.

I have never seen my brain, but I know I have one. It controls my central nervous system. I live and breath because of that control. I don't have to see my brain to see what it does. Because I can see this wonderful and complex world I live in, I can believe in the existence of GOD.

During the week, don't forget to spend time in GOD's Word. Pray and grow.

Abundant Blessings!