September 29, 2014
As I look back on my last blog update, I realize I owe each of you an apology. It seems I’m having a hard time sending out my other two monthly updates plus update my blog monthly. Ok – so if you are not receiving my monthly letter update and would like to receive it, please send me an email or send me a personal f/book message. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I can promise you that this one does go out monthly. J Thus I won’t feel badly for not updating my blog more often though I will try to do better.
I always lose track of the dates here, for instance I know today is Monday and we travel to Casimiro Castillo and then Villa de Purificación. I had NO idea of the actual date – thus to my surprise it is almost the end of September!! To think that in a couple of weeks I will have been living in México for three years is hard to comprehend – yet I can not think of how it would be to live elsewhere. It’s hard to explain how I have become comfortable here yet at the same time there are some things that are still not the ‘norm’ for me. Thus I think some days are still an adjustment of some sort.
We still travel three days each week, with visits to people’s houses then church services afterwards. Pictured below is the house church at Villa de Purificación where we traveled today.
In looking back at my post in May, we were visiting an elderly lady whose picture I included named Maria. While I was in Texas in August, Maria became ill and her daughter who lives in a different town moved Maria to live with her. I’m glad she had someone to help her though I do miss seeing her!
While we do still have rains coming to us to keep everything green, the rains should soon come to an end. One extra trip we made one week to visit a family that regularly comes to the services in Villa de Purificación, I took the following picture, which shows
a bird’s nest hanging from a tree limb. There was actually a river just under this nest! The birds are a bright yellow and black and about the size of a small crow.
Needless to say, with all the weekly studies, I am learning a lot about our Heavenly Father and His book that He left for us to learn about Him and how we should live. With so many studies during the week and also with studies here at Aposento, God is stretching and growing me weekly and sometimes daily. Today for instance in the house church in Villa de Purificación, Pastor Leonel spoke of how the Israelites had to learn how to forget their Egyptian culture in order to learn God’s culture. When we accept Christ as our personal Savior, Christ asks us to do the same: forget our sinful culture and learn His culture of striving to live without sin. As I was considering this and thinking of my American (ok, Texas!) culture that I left behind on the other side of the border to come to México to live, I did not really have to completely give up my home culture. Although I am living in a new culture that is quite different, I have not really had to give up my home culture. It is just tucked away and I pick it back up every time I cross the border. So we have to consider: what is culture – to me it is something that we learn as we grow up. For a comparison: in the States, we go to a restaurant to eat out. Normally prior to our finishing our meal the check is placed on the table waiting to be paid. We grow up accepting this. Here it’s different: you eat at a restaurant and sit and visit as long as you want. You then have to ask for the check – they feel it is rude to present the check to you prior (as if they are saying ok, when you finish your food, leave!!). Culture – it’s what we learn as we grow up. It’s knowing how to act in a certain situation without thinking. So we have to look at our selves and what our culture has taught us as being acceptable. And sadly for us the worldly culture is teaching us nowadays that sinning is ‘ok’. Little white lies are acceptable; cheating on filling out a form is ok if it’s to our benefit. If it helps “us” it’s acceptable - thus we are rewriting the Bible to fit our mode of living – do we really feel this is acceptable to Christ?
So how are you doing when you look at God’s culture versus the world’s culture today? Exodus chapter 20 is a great place to read about God’s standards – pretty high, eh? Thus we need God’s help as the Israelites needed His help – to know how to act and respond in different situations with a new cultural outlook. Are you ready to forget your worldly culture and embrace God’s culture? It’s as easy as admitting you’re a sinner and living by the world’s standards; believing that Christ died for payment for your sins and resurrected three days later; confess that He is your only Savior with all your heart. Easy for some to do – harder to live for us all as we are surrounded by the world’s culture and teachings. Ask God’s help – He is waiting for you to ask Him how you can learn His culture.
I hope that each of you have a wonderful week, measuring the world’s culture and standards to God’s culture and standards. Compare the two and decide which culture you want to live in and which culture you will be comfortable dying in and then being held accountable for your choice to Christ – well worth your time I promise.
Dios les bendiga