Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 2009

Make a Wish

By Laura Carter

How do you feel about New Years Resolutions? Are you like me in that you love a fresh start? Or have you tried and failed enough that you would rather not even make a list this year? Do you see this time of year as a hopeful time or rather a time to just continue fighting your bad habits? Do you really believe that 2010 could be an amazing year of growth and change in your life? Or are you giving up before you even begin?

Let me encourage you to make a wish this year! Most of us think that the word wish means to hope for something that is nearly impossible. Yet according to Webster the word wish is: “a thing or object desired”. So what is it that you desire for 2010? How do you figure out what to wish for? If you are like me you can think of a hundred things that you would like to work on in your own personal life. But what one thing would be the most important, the most beneficial?

I would like to share a few thoughts with you that the Lord has brought to my mind as I try to decide what wish or desire do I need to have for the year ahead. I re-read Psalm 1 just recently and was amazed at how the theme is so fitting for this idea of starting off right in 2010. Verse 1 says,

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.”

Did you know that the word blessed means the happy condition brought about by obedience? Think about that for a moment. Think of the peace and the tranquility and the trusting calmness that comes when we are being obedient to God. Could you describe the majority of your past year in that way? I know that I could not. Would I like to describe next year that way? You betcha! Is it possible? Let’s read on in verse 2,

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he
meditates day and night.”

It is possible if we are making our wish, our desire, to be the Lord and his Word. Was your focus on knowing the Lord better last year? Or was that just a side-note, an item to cross off on the 'to do' list each day? I know that I want my delight to be on 'knowing my Savior more and more each day, literally'. If I make that my desire, verse 3 tells me that there are some results to my faithfulness:

"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."

I love to picture a huge weeping willow tree blowing in the wind when I read this verse. It is a healthy, prosperous tree. This tree can withstand any storm as well as provide shade or food for man or animal. It is reliable, trustworthy, and a strong tree. You are firm and trustin the Lord in whatever situation comes up in your life. You are bearing fruits that God uses to grow and bless others. Whatever you do that is according to God's plan will prosper. But if you do not make the Lord your desire, there are results for that choice too. But they are not things that I would wish for and I dont' think you would either. Verses 4-6 say;

"Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish."

So, what will your wish be? I hope and pray that as you read through Psalm 1 and think about your New Year's Resolutions, that you will make your relationship with Jesus Christ your top priority. I know that for me I am encouraged by the thoughts of peace and delight that can describe my life when I am faithfully seeking after him. Will you make Jesus your wish this year?

Return tickets purchased!

By Scott Carter

We praise God that he has provided above and beyond all of our expectations! We have been "career missionaries", since 2004 and God never ceases to amaze us in the way he uses people and churches to not only provide for our financial needs but to remind us on a regular basis that he is in control and we are simply his servants whom he sends to accomplish his will. What an awesome God we serve!

We are currently just under 99% of our monthly needed support ($77 remaining)! We have purchased tickets and will be returning to Colombia on February 2, 2010. God has also seen fit to provide additional finances, so that we will be able to pay the costs of renewing our visas and cover the cost of shipping our furniture, etc. from the Bogota area to the Colombian coast.

Thank you to all of you who have given financially and especially thank you to those of you who have prayed for God's provision. We truly feel loved by you and are reminded of the fact that we are going exactly where he wants us to go and at his appointed time, not our own.

Santiago Update

By Scott Carter

First of all, thank you to everyone who has asked us throughout the year about the health of Santiago Medina (see April Update), the son of our Colombian coworkers, Alfredo and Juana Medina. Santiago was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma earlier this year and just finished his last round of chemotherapy in November and has also completed several rounds of radiation treatment.

After finishing chemo and prior to the radiation treatment exams were done and they were told that only a small amount remained in his neck and that his spleen, stomach and chest were all clear. We recently received the following words from Alfredo:

"We just had the appointment with the oncologist in order to do all of the exams (to see if Santiago is clear of cancer), thinking that this week we would have to hospitalize Santiago, but the doctor surprised us, she thinks that we should do nothing at this time so that Santiago's Christmas in not ruined. She asked us to return the first week of January for all of the final exams and at least for now we get a break..."

Please continue to pray for the Medina family. This has been a difficult year for them and they are anxious to get an all clear in the coming weeks.