DR 2012 — July 4th (Journal #6)

(Ephesians 5) Father, thank You for cherishing me. Help me to love others as myself (by first loving myself in a healthy way). KILL my pride. Help me to care for the interest of my teammates above my own interests and draw closer to them. Mold and change my heart, Abba. ❤

7:15 am
(Matthew 5:9-12) Father, give me strength in my weakness to do all I have, all I am, for You. Give me energy to work hard today for You even though I’ve gotten a cold. Work Your grace in my heart and mind. Yes, as Your people we will be persecuted, but Your plan, the goal, is ever so much better.
Thank You for life. ❤

2:25 pm
I just finished writing little letters to Ricki, Angela, and Carmencita! They are women from Cercadillo that made the 2 headbands and small bag that I bought for me, mom, and Jenna. I can’t WAIT to play with all the children at Cercadillo and hopefully meet these and more wonderful ladies. Bless our time with them this afternoon.
I love You so much, Abba. 🙂

8:00 pm
It turns out that we couldn’t go to Cercadillo because it was pouring this afternoon. :/ You had a plan, though, Abba. We went for ice cream at Bon and stopped at La Sirena (which is similar to Walmart). I bought mom two neat potholders, Dominican vanilla, and a black, white, and green shirt for Reed.
We packed the truck for building tomorrow, too, and we will maybe hear the interns’ testimonies tonight as well.
The kitchen ladies were so thoughtful to make us a classic American dinner in celebration of the 4th of July! Cindy (the wife of the American missionary, Chris) even made an American flag cake with 50 blueberries, which we sang the Star-spangled Banner to! 🙂 It was really fun.
Father, I love it here! I love the people and the food, the children, Dominican interns, and places we’ve been. I have soaked it all in so far and enjoyed it all immensely. Working with Harold today was such a blast. We joked around, laughing at the mistakes each of us made in our respective foreign languages.
I found out from Noe that Spanish doesn’t have a word equivalent to “stubborn”! Hehe, I applied that to Jesús because he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer at dinner tonight. 😛

9:50 pm
I played with Elda and sang a little with Ashley and Kyle tonight! We get to go to bed a little early, too, because we get up at 4 tomorrow to go to the chapel site! So excited!! 🙂 We finally put up Your House, Abba. ❤
Bless our sleep and multiply the time to re-energize our bodies. Amen. ❤

Beatitudes: the Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

~Matthew 5:3

Jesus here is encouraging those who are poor, and not just any poor, but the poor in spirit. What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Is it to be lacking the Holy Spirit? Is it to be weak in spirit? Is it to be troubled in spirit?

Poor in spirit — it’s an interesting phrase. It can be confusing to try and understand what this means, but I think separating the two words will help. Poor. Being poor means lacking something. It could mean lacking material things, though I don’t think Jesus meant this. It could also mean being weak, such as if I was a poor soccer player. This may be more what Jesus was after. Thinking about the kinds of people Jesus hung out with and sought, this seems more accurate. Spirit. This one can be more confusing, depending on how you look at it. Spirit usually is related to the heart or the will. This means that it is very connected to volition, or the will to do things. Volition involves both freedom and creativity. Our volition is how we organize our life — around God or not.

Putting these two words together, I see a beautiful picture of what Jesus probably had in mind. He wants those of us who are weak and cannot do it on our own (ALL of us!), those of us who are poor in the area of volition — we don’t do what we want to do and we do what we don’t want to do! — to come to Him. Once we recognize that we ARE indeed poor in spirit (everyone is, but most try to deny that they are), we are blessed, for it is then that we seek His purposes and His kingdom first. That is why Jesus says that the poor in spirit have the kingdom of heaven — because they submit their own will to Christ’s and do His work.

Beatitudes: The Pure in Heart

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” ~Matthew 5:8

Wow. They will SEE God. In Revelation, John tells us that we will SEE God, if we are faithful. “They [His servants] will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:4) What a AWEsome sight that will be to behold! As I sat pondering this beautiful picture, I thought more about what “pure in heart” means. The heart is our volition, our will. To be pure is to be of one mind, untainted, whole, not divided.  This means that if we are “pure in heart”, we will be one, unified with God’s will. His will is our will. Our will is His will. Not only will we see God on the New Earth if we are pure in heart, but we will also see Him in everything around us. We will see Him at work in every circumstance and every thing — literally! — because we are one with Him in heart, one with Him in volition and will. In order to SEE God, we must seek to daily, moment by moment, deny our own will and seek to be in line with His. Then we will be pure in heart and we will see God. ♥

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