We didn’t have money to buy instruments. But God raised up finances through the sale of candies (!). We didn’t have know-how to teach the kids to play them. But God sent us a trained band leader, who free-of-charge offered his service.
I stood in awe of what God did. The instruments came out of nothing. This man, patiently and expertly, taught each kid and then the group to coordinate. We got into the Guatemalan Independence Day parade and on national television with the message of Christ that first year, and we’ve been there ever since.
This video, which was taken of a practice run, is a bit rough around the edges. But I can’t help but feel warmed with joy to see what God does. I can still praise God. When He does something, our best efforts pale by comparison. The Liceo Bilingue La Puerta continues to glorify God.
Here’s Senior Joseph, who just graduated. He produced this short to sum up what was a long journey for him, a time of highs and lows, triumphs and despair. Somehow it all seems worthwhile afterwards, the pain, the late nights studying, football’s Hell week, and my English class.
It was the fountain, seen in the background as this young girl explains why she likes the Liceo Bilingüe La Puerta, the school I founded and worked for 14 years. Whew! What a labor of love!
As I think back now, it is almost hard to remember the blood, sweat and tears invested into this place. The fountain is symbolic, a splash of beauty and tranquility to crown more than a decade of untiring work.
The beauty heals. To see children still being ministered to, to see the school functioning as a safe place, to see kids be raised up in God’s gold standard, is rewarding.
Even if you don’t understand Spanish, I invite you to watch this video, in which the girl, unprompted, unscripted, shares naturally what flows from her heart.
“You know we just can´t pass by without stopping in to say Hi.
It is considered the height of rudeness in Guatemala to not dutifully greet EVERYONE. No being too busy.
So Dianna went in to see Surama, and I waited. Apparently the Holy Spirit took over. She asked Surama if she had spoken in her heavenly language lately. The question provoked panic which brought repentance. Surama, who had lived years as a deadened Christian, came alive with a vibrancy with which she is still serving Jesus. She works at the school I started.
When you serve Christ 24-7, you never know when God will use you. Now God is using Surama.
And so it goes. Four a few hours, the squad of German players who attained World Cup glory could caress the $10 million, 14-pound, 18-karat gold trophy.
Then after posing with the most-coveted sports prize in the world, it was taken from them and locked away. Two previous cups have been stolen, and FIFA guards against further theft.
Germany’s name was carved on the base with “2014.” Germany only gets a gold-plated replica.
Such anticlimax exposes this world’s essential hollowness. Jesus warns that the treasures you store here can corrupt or get stolen. If not, you can’t take it with you when you die — even if you put it in your coffin — because you (your spirit) won’t be where your body is.
Jesus tells us to work for rewards in Heaven.
And the German squad? They have bragging rights. That might last them for their lifetime.
It has been four years since I was missionary in Guatemala. As the years pass, there are old dear friends still in the work — and they warm my heart. Then too, there are new friends, also a joy. The video is of Andrea, who shyly explained what she liked about the school, el Liceo Bilingue La Puerta, that I left working in Guatemala. I’m proud of her.
Four years ago, I was sent home from the mission field when criminals assaulted my family. Since kidnapping was likely subsequent to the assault, I realized God was sending me home. Today, I am supporting my mother church, the Lighthouse in Santa Monica.
From time to time, I visit the Guatemalan church and school. These are kids I labored 16 years for as a missionary. I hope their song warms your heart like it does mine.
Lionel Messi doesn’t talk trash, boast, swag in front of media. He won the most prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or four consecutive years (2009-12) — the only player to ever do so. He is consistently called the best on the planet.
When the Argentine takes to the field, it is assumed he will make the difference. He will win break the deadlock, befuddle defenders with bursts of speed and magic from his feet. Among those who idolize football, he is called Messiah, a pun on his last name.
But Messi found out he is NOT the Messiah at the World Cup final. Unlike Maradona and Pele, he was unable to carry his team to victory over the German squad. (They aren’t messiahs either, but Maradona thinks he is.)
With the German keeper, who won best goalie.
It was evident that Messi found no flavor in winning the Golden Ball for best player. It was said that the only trophy missing from his cabinet was the World Cup, and he returned home without it. When he had chances to score, he struck wide (uncharacteristically).
In a classy display of good sportsmanship, German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger tried to encourage Messi, who looked rigid and uncomfortable listening to him. Maybe he was trying to keep from crying.
Messi and Schweinsteiger
It is a good moment when we humans realize we are NOT God. There is a God who loves you and wants to bless you, but the whole universe doesn’t center around you. We are the creation of God, not the other way around. We need to praise Him, and not receive the praise of man. If you don’t believe in God, then naturally, you are your own god. Enjoy the destiny you bring yourself. You are cheating yourself of the destiny God wants to give you (Heaven, for example).
I feel bad for Messi because he’s generally such a humble (and talented) guy. I also want to pray for him to get to know the true Messiah.
Bastian Schweinsteiger had no lack of confidence going into the World Cup Final. Sewn onto his boots, he the words “the chosen one.”
No one can complain. He ran an extraordinary 15 kilometers into 120 minutes of play to stymie Argentina’s dominant midfield. Argentina fouled him repeatedly and seriously in an attempt to slow him down by roughing him up. At the end, his sacrifice contributed to Germany’s 1-0 win to lift the cup.
Previously, only Coach Jose Mourinho had dared to call himself “the special one.” A tactical genius and a relentless braggart, Mourinho drew more titters than respect for being full of himself.
I’m not hurling stones today. Instead, I want to remind us Christians that we are both “chosen” and “special.” These soccer stars don’t crack under pressure. They perform because of a seamless confidence.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. – 1 Peter 2:9 NIV.
God wants us to out-perform the competition, to win (souls). For Germany, Bastian was a bastion. May we likewise brings victories to Christianity.
Posted in World Cup
Tagged 1 Peter 2:9, 2014, Bastian Schweinsteiger, chosen generation, Christianity, Faith, Germany, inspiration, Jesus, Jose Mourihno, special possession, the chosen one, the special one