Friday, February 26, 2010
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinn.
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, beaten
Oil for frying
powdered sugar for dusting
In a saucepan the oil must be at least 1 in. deep, heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinn. Stir to combine. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingred. Add milk and eggs and stir till combined. Drop by teaspoonfuls into oil. Fry until brown(turning over once). Remove comfits and drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
This is the little path off the main road leading to Chimusanya Baptist Church where I have been teaching on Thursdays for the last 6 weeks. Today's lesson was on how we should forgive one another. Often things happen in life among our friends or in our families where we get hurt. Bitterness and anger can easily come between us. This is not God's plan. God tells us that when trouble comes between people we need to, "forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." (Col. 3:13) We must put away anger, wrath, hate, lies, and evil talk(Col. 3:8). When another offends us we must not answer back with these bad things. Colossians goes on to tell us that we must be patient and forgive even when another has hurt us. Col. 3:12 says, "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience.."
We forgive because God has forgiven us. One time Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive. He asked whether he should forgive his brother seven times. Matthew 18:22 says, "Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." That means 490 times. Jesus meant that we should never stop forgiving one who offends us.
Question time can always be interesting and a cultural learning experience as well. Today, one of the women asked me, "If my friend hits me in the face what can I do?" I had to first ask if that was really true and she said it was. I told her that she may not really be a friend after all. Anyway, our job is to forgive even if the other person doesn't ask forgiveness. I'm not saying it is easy, in fact, it is very difficult to do. People cannot forgive in this way unless God helps them. Jesus is our example and his power gives us strength to forgive. All we can do is our part that God wants us to do and then pray for that person that God would work in them and change their heart. Interestingly enough, I had a very similar situation happen to me just this week that I could share with the women of how I had forgiven someone of a wrong deed when that person had not actually asked for my forgiveness. If I had not forgiven that person I could have become quite bitter in the long run. Now, I'm just praying that God would change that person and show them their wrong deed. I can't change anyone only God can do that so I'm just leaving it up to Him. I think that it is neat how when I teach, God allows me to use examples from my own life.
Monday, February 22, 2010
I am so happy I was able to be a part of this special time in Zach's life during his senior year.
This is Sara's sister Hannah and her date for banquet.
Justin and his roommate this term, Levi. Each term they switch rooms and roommates. Justin really has enjoyed both of his roommates so far this year.
The night of banquet while Zach and the rest of his dorm were out taking pics. Justin played with the dog to keep him occupied. Justin loves animals.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I left at 1:00 that day and reached home at 7:15pm. It was a long afternoon but so exciting to see these women decide to follow Christ. As I reflected on this day God taught me two things:
1-In relationships we are always learning new things about our spouse, our children, our friends, and our God. How boring it would be if we all ready new everything about the people we love. We have been in Zambia since 1997 and I am still learning about our people. I learned some new cultural things today that I had never heard before. I wasn't surprised by them but it was still exciting to learn. I think it is neat that God didn't teach us everything we needed to know about culture and our people the day we arrived. Little by little we continue to learn and grow in our knowledge of who they are.
2-One of the women at the meeting asked Amai Mwachamota a question about miscarriage. They believe that if a woman has a miscarriage she can not be with her husband until she has taken some medicine(charm) to protect her from getting sick with a lot of pain in her stomach. So when women have a miscarriage they will go to the witchdoctor to get this medicine so that they will not get sick. Amai Mwachamota knew I had had a miscarriage back in our first two years on the field. So she asked me in front of them if I had taken any charms after my miscarriage. Of course, I said no. Then she asked if I had gotten sick. Of course, I had not. Then I had Hannah almost one year later. She talked to the women explaining that we are all women and we are the same. If they were to cut each one of us we would all have the same blood. Anyway, I could talk and talk on this but I won't. What God showed me was that He can use anything in our lives to teach others about Him even something painful like a miscarriage. When I went to share Christ with those women on Thursday I had no idea that subject would come up. I'm thankful that God could use something from my life to direct others towards Christ and show them how they can leave this part of their traditional life behind.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Kevin and Kenny have been going together out on the boat along the Lunsemfwa River for the last couple of weeks. They will continue to go out for the next several weeks while the water is still high. Kevin is teaching a series of lessons to a new church. Pray for their safety as they travel each week. It is a hard trip. They drive two hours, set up the boat, travel in the boat about 45 min. and then teach. Then they have to do it all again to get back. They haven't seen any crocs. or hippos yet but that doesn't mean they are not there. Pray that the people will grasp these lessons and be encouraged by them. Pray that God would grow this church to be a lighthouse for Him in this area.
In the above pic. Kevin and Kenny are putting the boat together.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
On Sunday, we went back to this church and had SS and a worship service. Daniel taught SS and Kevin preached.
After church we hung around and visited with the members. They were so excited because there were so many who came to visit the church that day. On Sat. we had 9 but on Sunday we had about 40. At the end of the service I experienced something that I have never seen before in Zambia. As they were announcing how many people were there and the offering amount that was given a young boy about 10 years old went up to the front and handed his offering to the man. He had come in late. Then all the others who had come in after the offering was collected also brought their money to the man to add to the main offering. Tears ran down my face as I saw God use this young boy. It was just like in the story Kevin had shared. Kevin preached on Jesus feeding the 5000 and how He took what that young boy had of 5 loaves of bread and two fish, blessed it, and then used it to feed all those people. I think most often when people come in late they just miss out on giving, maybe even a little relieved that they don't have to give on that day. It really blessed my heart to experience this in Zambia for the first time. I'm praying that these people will continue to give of their time and money and grow in their walks with the Lord.
Friday, February 5, 2010
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
An easy way to begin to share Christ with your friends and family is by telling them your testimony. Your testimony is simply your story about how God has worked in your life. In today’s lesson at Chimusanya Baptist Church I read the story of how Paul shared his testimony in Acts 26:1-29. Then we talked about how Paul’s testimony had 3 parts. 1-His life before he knew/received Jesus, 2-How he came to know Jesus, and then 3-His life after he received Jesus(how he had changed). Basically, if you can share these 3 things you can share a short testimony. Lesley went with me today and so she had the opportunity to share her testimony with the women. Then I had the women break up into groups of two and practice sharing their testimonies. We then came back together and one by one they each got up and shared their testimony to the whole group. Most of these women are not used to getting up in front of others and speaking so I was very proud of them for doing that. I also was able to see how some of the women seemed to depend on their joining the Baptist church to make them a Christian. It was also interesting that all but two women didn’t become a Christian until after they were married. I think there is a lot of confusion among some of our churches about what it really means to be born again. Pray for me over the next couple of months as I share Christ and His Word with these women that they will understand what I’m saying and desire to truly live for Christ. For homework this week I asked them to learn the verse mentioned above and to share their testimony with a friend. Pray for these women as they try to do these things this week.
It was sad to me today when I asked a woman if she could say the memory verse from last week and she said she couldn’t read and she didn’t even have a bible in Chichewa so no one could help her. She lives very far from the church and none of the church members live close enough to come and help her learn the verses each week. She truly seemed to want to learn the verses but could not see a way to do that. I told her I would try to start staying a little longer after the meetings and help her to learn her verses. How often do we take for granted the fact that we can read? How often do we just quickly read some passage of scripture and say we have spent time with God? How often have we just left our Bible on the shelf and not read it at all? So many people all over the world can not read at all. Many people don’t even have their own Bible. There are still many places in the world that there isn’t a bible written in their language. What would these people do if they had the ability to read and owned a bible? May God have mercy on us all! Lord, help us not to take for granted everything you have blessed us with.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and
those who are perishing."
2 Cor. 2:15
When I was a teenager I had a part time job at the big variety store in town. Every Friday afternoon some folks would come in to cash their paychecks. We always knew when these guys were in the store because you could smell them coming. They spent their entire day holding, touching, and packing onions and that smell rubbed off on them, their clothes, their hair, even their paychecks. They carried with them the aroma of onions because they had been so closely involved with onions for such a long period of time. They didn't come in the store and try to smell like an onion. They didn't take classes on what onions smell like. Their aroma was a natural outcome of where they spent their lives, day in and day out.
Are you an aroma of Christ? It doesn't automatically come with being a Christian-or a missionary. Can others smell you coming from a mile away, like those folks in the store? There was no wondering where they had been. What about you? Can people you know tell that you've been sitting at the Master's feet? You can't fake it. You'll be found out every time. That's the unique thing about an aroma. Either you have it or you don't, and there's only one way to get it- by absorbing it from the source. Note in the verse that it is the knowledge of Him that is fragrant, not us. It is only when we have this knowledge of Him -not about Him, but deeply, intimately of Him-hidden deep within our hearts that we become aromatic.
A lot of people think that a ministry is the same thing as an aroma. But a ministry can be faked. People can have a lot to write home about-lots of numbers, lots of disciples, lots to show for their effort, lots of church members. They are considered successes, great Christians, models for others. But how many of those end up in disgrace, compromised morally or discouraged in the work-having attempted to do something for God instead of learning to be in Him? There's a huge difference. It isn't about us. It's about Him.
In this verse it is interesting to see to whom the aroma is drifting. Not to the world, missionary, because it isn't about them; not to the church, preacher, because it isn't about them either; but to God Himself. It's all about Him. It is to Him that we smell sweet. He is the recipient. And it is God who "spreads everywhere the fragrance, " not us. It is not our work; it is His work through us. Our most important task is absorbing Him and being transformed into His likeness, not doing great things for Him. He can handle the doing, but we are to love Him so much that we sit before Him, worship Him, adore Him, learn His ways, memorize His words, dwell on His promises. That is our task.
So even though being an aroma sounds like a wonderful idea, I keep wanting a "how to" plan. You can't judge your effectiveness at being an aroma like you can with more tangible things so it is hard to feel successful. Your measuring stick can't be the outcome of a situation or the reaction of another person to you because you can't control those things and you don't necessarily know what God's purpose is in any given situation. Your standard has to be the Word of God.
It is God who judges us and He doesn't measure success as we do. He wants to see in the end a heart that has been conformed and shaped to the image of Christ. We are not to abide in Christ so that we get results in our work. We are to abide in Christ so that we begin to be transformed into His image-we begin to look like Him, sound like Him and yes, smell like Him. It is enough. It is the ultimate. If we truly become mirrors of Christ....we will see God bring a world to Himself and we will have the honor of being part of His work. Yes, we will be imperfect. We will make mistakes. We will fail, and may go through times when we do not feel very close to God. But we can rest assured that if we continue to sit at His feet, He is able to bring glory to His name through us wherever we are. He can receive glory if we are to Him an aroma of Christ-filled with the knowledge of Him.
1. The Post Office:
Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial
trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. E-mail, Fed Ex and UPS
have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive.
Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.
2. The Checks:
Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the
financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and on-line
transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death
of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail,
the post office would absolutely go out of business.
3. The Newspaper:
The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They certainly don't
subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the
laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile
Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to
form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon and the major cell phone companies
to develop a model for paid subscription services.
4. The Book:
You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the
literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my
hard copy CD. But, I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums
for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will
happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter
before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the
convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you
find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that
you're holding a gadget instead of a book.
5. The land line Telephone:
Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore.
Most people keep it simply because they're always had it. But, you are paying double
charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers
using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes.
This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow
death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music
being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption
is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates simply self-destructed.
Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music that
the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert
circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book,
"Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before
the Music Dies."
Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy.
People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing
games and doing all lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent
watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common
denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and
30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's time for the cable companies to be
put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through
8. The "Things" That You Own:
Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not
actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud...” Today your
computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies and documents.
Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But, all of
that is changing. Apple, Microsoft and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud
services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the internet will be built into the
operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the
Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the internet cloud. If you save
something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to
the cloud provider.
9. In this Virtual World:
You can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld
device. That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be
able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be
disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo
album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.
If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy.
That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in
most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be
sure that 24/7 "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS
coordinates and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a
zillion profiles and your ads will change to reflect those habits. And "They" will try to get
you to buy something else. Again and again.