The month was over for almost two weeks before the page was fully constructed. We were busy. Mostly one foot in front of the other type busy with not much exciting to write about. Also I was distracted by the unfolding tragedy in the Commons in Canada. Democracy dies in the backrooms and violence gets unleashed against peaceful protesters.
When the going gets tough the weak send in the Cossacks to trample disabled old ladies and their walkers.
February 1 - 5
This month we carried on helping out at Way of the Cross Ministries. Each day starts with chapel. We si gn a few songs. Somebody shares a message. Then we learn of the days priorities.
Oscar Brooks delivered a message at Tuesday’s chapel beginning with Jeremiah 49:7. Pay attention to a place called Teman. “Is there no wisdom in Teman?” A rhetorical question?
Job 2:11-13 There is a lot pointing to Job being a very old book.
Things happened to Job. The three friends got together and came with a heart to comfort but found not what they thought. Wanted a man who was looking how he had sinned but found someone who was trying to understand what was happening to him. The friends not from his own town. Yet these are the guys that get together to comfort him. A lot of people around Job but they didn’t comfort him. They live in different places but are all old. Job and friends shared a mindset of their age. Also, all loved God. Your best friends should be people who have a hunger for God. Job had a maturity in his relationship with God and the maturity to have godly friends. Everything in their conversation was about God. Even though they were far away they found a way to stay in touch. Busy people but they put everything on hold to come and comfort Job.
Nowhere is there a mention of finances. Job went from rich to poor in one day. His friends still rich but there was no discussion of money. In the midst of his troubles Job didn’t look to his friends for $ but to help him work out what was happening to him. The emotional support has a lot more to it than sending money. The first seven days they sat there in silence. They came to him. “We’re here for you”
First was Eliphaz the Temanite. Teman was a place of wisdom. His love of God was obvious. The trouble was his wisdom was human. Also, evil wisdom. A demon had given him a false vision. Human wisdom cannot solve the problems. Also comes down to the wrong words to say. In last chapter God rebukes him - your words are not from me.
Warning. Even words from a brother can tear you down. Eliphaz was not trying to hurt Job but he did because he listened to his own and evil wisdom.
Oscar says he has never been affected by what people say. What has pierced his heart like a dagger has been words from a pastor or other brother.
How bad would it be to be in the Bible as a bad example?
Beware of where you get your ideas.
May God give you friends
After chapel, I worked on the drain piping started yesterday. Juanita worked helping set up the tent for the Wednesday drive through food bank. The tent was in good shape for Wednesday so late in the morning I drove her to have coffee with a friend. I borrowed a ministries truck and returned the ceiling tile panels that the visiting church team had not got around to installing. There are not enough people on staff right now to get to that task and the ceiling tile might end up damaged if it was left sitting there. While at Home Depot I took advantage of having a truck and picked up some mortar mix and some lath to repair holes knocked in walls for plumbing. In the afternoon I started on rebuilding a motel unit corner that had had a recent mishap. I got about two-thirds done by dark. It will still be there tomorrow.
Notes of Oscar’s Wednesday chapel message:
Who is going to be delivered from judgement?
When he is talking about land he is talking about the people who live there.
Verse 14. There are four judgements to a land that has rejected me, scorned the prophets has said we want you no more, God. You think if there is some great man, he will be a shield. God responds with 3 great men Job, Daniel, Noah says that type of judgement can be held back by their presence. Why these three? What do they have in common?
Great intercessors. Job interceded for family even before he knew if they had done wrong. Daniel “beloved in heaven” intercessor for a nation. Noah warned people and all he got was laughter and scorn. Also in common. Couldn’t save those they were interceding for. Job - family died. Noah was able to save family but none of the others he had concern for. Daniel could not deliver them, a whole generation passed away.
Four judgements. Oscar thinks we are starting to see signs of all four. This nation has risen against God. There has been a remnant. But God says that will not be enough
After chapel Juanita went to work under the food bank tent. I puttered around the warehouse until it was clear I wasn’t needed for the food bank. Then I headed to the motel and finished the wall repairs. Not the prettiest bit of masonry work, but it should look better when it is painted. With forecast weather that probably won’t happen until next week.
Oscar Brook spoke at Thursday Chapel. You can watch his message here on YouTube or check out my incomplete notes below.
Revelation 2:1-6 The seven churches have things I can relate to. Both positive and negative. But this one hits me right here. They can discern, testing everything coming at them. You need to not give a preacher a pass you need to test what they say as true. You cannot test unless you are knowledgeable of the scriptures. Paul & Apollos were the founders of this church. As preacher, a man of God you need this check and balance. Only one infallible is word of God.
Paul - clinical knowledge
Apollos – fervent
There is a danger if you are a tester. You can become cynical and forget the business of loving God. They were fighting false doctrine on one side and worldliness on the other (Nicolaitan). You can see traditional churches today. Love the word but sniff at miracles as if God is not in the miracle business anymore. At the other end is people who chase after every crazy thing that shows up - a tortilla with the face of Jesus.
You used to be thrilled with relationship with God but now too busy examining wrong and right. Return to your first love.
God brings judgement to those who lose their first love. May you fall in love with him again.
Thursday I went back to plumbing drain lines and Juanita was back to setting up the tent for the scheduled drive through food bank. Overnight the temperatures plummeted close to freezing and a strong wind came up. With the wind chill the effective temperatures were in the twenties in Fahrenheit. Nobody here is used to or equipped to be outside in those temperatures.
Oscar’s chapel message for Friday began with Revelation 2:6 Ephesus has had battles. One of the fronts they are fighting are the Nicolaitans. The church hates what God hates.
Revelation 2:12-15 The church at Pergamum. A different church but hate the Nicolaitans. Verse16 Repent.
If you stood in Israel and looked at the two great powers that had captured it. Not necessarily the land. Egypt grown in power and worldliness. Then through the ages Babylon who had enslaved them. To this day we fight at these two types of forces.
You hate what they represent but they are there. Ephesus confronted them but Pergamum let them in. Nicolas was one of the 7 deacons. He’s probably sitting in heaven wondering what happened to him. Probably not his personal doing. Nicholas is said to have had a beautiful wife. Jealousy doesn’t have to make sense. That church argued that they had everything in common should have wives in common. Also said marriage was from Mosaic law so not apply - we are free. Result was all sorts of sexual sin.
Nicolaitans used theology to cover all sorts of sin. If God hates these things, you should too. Also there was a tendency to emphasis leadership.
All these things we still fight with people using scripture to justify their lusts. There is a great struggle within the church. Polygamous nations accuse America that what they do is essentially the same. Oscar _ I have never ever seen more worldliness in the church in my lifetime. It isn’t that I’m shocked it’s that I’m shocked that we allow Nicolaitans amongst us. That we accept immorality and drugs in the church. When God is looking at his church he looks at one church and applauds and looks at other church and says I’m coming for you.
We need to look at our own lives individually not at others. Nicolas the deacon might be in heaven and might not be guilty of the accusation not responsible but still there is issue of worldliness. Sometimes a preacher sometimes a scripture and we are convicted of sin.
Hyper grace has popped up again. Grace is not there to allow you to do anything you want. Bible clear about what He hates. One of the things he hates is a group that uses theology to cover sin.
Friday was too cold for the food bank. Juanita helped sort boxes of donated eyeglasses. I carried on plumbing. On the way home I picked up a tool I needed and used it to pull a broken part for a washing machine at the staff laundromat. After finding a replacement online I sent the information to Theresa in Nicaragua, and she said she’d order it for delivery in Harlingen. Try that fifty years ago!
Puttered in the morning and web surfed. In the afternoon we went to the Jackson Street street market. On the first Saturday of each month, they close several blocks of Jackson street in downtown Harlingen for a street market. We walked up one side and back the other. We didn’t buy anything but handed out lots of curved illusion tracts.
Way of the Cross
We have been helping out at Way of the Cross in Harlingen, Texas since December. It is an on-hold SOWER project we have worked at as SOWERS off and on since 2006. Here is the text of Ben Butler's weekly update e-mail:
The drive through in Harlingen had 244 salvation on Wednesday. We did not open on Friday as it was 32° and raining. We received one truck from Gary in Michigan and two trucks from FEMA this past week. There will be a truck coming in from Woody from Chicago Monday. This whole week has been very cold in Harlingen for the most part.
Mexico Gateway camp Moises has been in Nicaragua with me this past week. His missionaries saw over 38 salvations as they ministered at hospital. It was also is very cold over there.
Nicaragua Shiloh camp the students started arriving this past Sunday and continued to arrive throughout Monday. We are not sure of the total student yet. There was quite a bit of sickness with the students last week. I don’t know whether it’s the flu or COVID. Two of the students went home after the third day of the school. Many of the students went home on Friday as they have freedom to do so. Some have stayed the weekend and are fighting through it here. So I’m not sure what the count is going to be when everything stabilizes. I would ask you to stay in prayer that the students and our missionary’s health would stay strong through the school. Some of our missionaries think we should shut the school down. Those are very hard decisions to make and nobody has been seriously ill. So we will continue to go on. I believe with all my heart that we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing and not fear.
We ask our students to be able to share their testimony and to make their testimony as part of sharing the Gospel message. One little girl 14 years old and very small. She looks to be about 10 yrs. she shared her testimony and it was heartbreaking. She shared that many times she was locked out of the house with no food, no bed and many other abusive things. She shared with us that she was really praying the school would change her life and I believe it will. Theresa also shared with me that the father was trying to give her his son last year. Many other students share their testimony and so many have been abused. There were so many tears from both the students and the staff.
The Lord is doing many powerful things in the school and the teachings are very great. All of our staff are taking turns cooking as we are feeding 450 to 500 meals a day. The first day we started feeding we were giving them some choices and some of them had hard time making decisions and it took forever to feed. So I suggested they put the plates together beforehand and just hand them to the students. This way no decisions are necessary. This way we can feed the whole crew in about 20 minutes and it works very well, praise the Lord. The kitchen was very hot so Byron installed on attic fans on the side of the wall of the kitchen. Now the kitchen is much more comfortable to work in.
Theresa and I with several students will be heading up this afternoon to harvest watermelons. One of pastor Gilberto’s members has a farm about 25 miles away. The farmer said he would sell them to us for a dollar each, which is a very good deal. Feeding this many people we need to try to get the best price that we possibly can, plus I’m excited about going to get them.
The bus is in Managua at customs. We have paid the taxes and fees but the bus has not been released to us yet. So it looks like we are going to have to rent a vehicle big enough to handle about 16 to 18 people. We are working on that today, as we will be taking the students out next week. Please pray that the bus would be released quickly.
I went to the Promised Land on Saturday it was absolutely beautiful. There is still a lot to do to complete everything but all is coming along great. I don’t believe we are going to finish it as quickly as I hoped. I was hoping it would be completed by the end of February. I don’t believe that’s going to happen since we have had to slow things down as the needs for the missionary training school are very great.
We took a number of our Harlingen staff up there. It was the first time that they had been to the Promised Land. They were very excited and some were in tears as they looked over the Valley and the breathtaking views God has created. When we left the Promised Land, we loaded up with bananas, cocoa beans, passionfruit and star fruit. It is abundant with things to eat praise the Lord. I believe we brought back enough bananas to feed the students for the whole week.
It was a blessing to see the coffee trees and to see the wonderful job the workers have been doing. I did not climb to the top of the mountains but I did see many of the new coffee plants and they are growing so quickly. José the man that is taking care of the coffee is doing a wonderful job and is very proud of how the coffee is looking.
Well it is getting late Sunday afternoon, we are going to pick watermelons, and everybody wants to go. I’m not sure how many people we can get in the van and still have room for the watermelon.
I would ask you to continue to pray for Sue Rowe for healing and their family business, for Bethany and my daughter Rebecca for healing. Also please keep the Robinson family in your prayers as this is a time of grieving.
We are praying for your family that the Lord continue to bless you and meet all your needs.
God bless you,
Love Brother Ben
February 6 - 12
Sunday was quiet except after church I fixed a toilet for one of the missionaries. That’s an ox in a ditch moment, isn’t it?
Mike delivered a message. Here are my notes of that message.
He began with a disclaimer that he was talking about something that he was working on so not to think he was speaking from a higher place.
He was working in construction with his father then went out to the west coast and got job with this group of guys who were building houses in Oregon. He shows up on first day and says, “where are the air compressors?” They responded, “One thing we pride ourselves on is we drive every nail.” He’s never been so tired as he was that summer. Use the tools you have been given.
Leviticus 25:2-12 Lots of repetition in this part of Bible.
Every seventh year you weren’t allowed to plant or prune. Anything that did grow was strictly to feed you, the widows and orphans. Weren’t allowed to harvest or store. Animals allowed to eat. Then every 49 years. Jubilee. 50th to return every man to his possessions and to his family. Every debt forgiven. Every slave freed.
Apparently the Israelites kind of ignored this. Heard it preached that that was the cause of the captivity in Babylon. Jeremiah 29:10-11. Going to spend 70 years in captivity to make up for the years they failed to give the land its rest.
Daniel 9:2 If God tells you to do something and you don’t do it e.g. Jonah go to Nineveh
Luke 6:21, 25 People came to Jesus and said why is it John’s disciples fast and .. but yours don’t. Jesus said when the bridegroom… But when you fast do it this way
I Corinthians 1:10-16 I beg you … We’re going through these things it is up to you to be like we are.
Noah told to build ark, not easy
God called Abraham to kill son, can you imagine? God doesn’t ask for easy things
Acts10 Peter given a vision and then told to go to see … Four days ago… Cornelius your prayers are heard.
Here is the result of seeking God in prayer. You get answer. Not always the answer you want. Paul prayed 3 times remove my affliction. Ans: My grace is sufficient
If we seek God with fasting will be filled. If hungry but will be filled
We are living in a great country, but things can change very fast. Was googling about persecution and some of the stuff going on today. People being set on fire for their faith.
If I teach a child to swim and child falls in a river he has a fighting chance. Same with us. Are we working on what we might need to survive? So easy to come home and sit in front of TV and do nothing. In the meantime there is somebody being killed for his faith somewhere. 9-year-old son came home in Middle East and mentioned Christ and his father set him on fire. That’s how seriously that man took his faith. Horrible if Christ comes back and we say we were busy with other things. I was scrolling Netflix or surfing the net.
Oscar delivered Monday’s chapel message.
This happened after 38 years of the 40 in the desert 2:3 You have camped in this mountain long enough turn ye northward
Thirty-eight years of wandering of going around the same area. God waiting for them all to die. Could have killed all at once but Moses interceded.
Going around without purpose. No matter what happened going around in circles. Ultimate sign of failure is the purposeless cycle of life. Both PhD and one who didn’t go to school all face the same fate. Just when the last few left God says get up and head northward.
One of the things I’m excited about. Thank God, He gives us a new day every day.
Thirty-eight years in with two years left when God starts to give them purpose. When I’ve been in a circular life and cry out to God and he says get up and starts building purpose. I’m excited because with the change of the year I’m experiencing God giving me a new purpose. God looks to your life and says where are you supposed to be and I need to do something with you.
Sometimes it is easier to stay in your circular life. Sometimes we prefer the desert because we know the desert. In order to get you into the promised land you need to cross the brook and start preparing yourself. I’m excited because I understand He has said “get over the brook”. The way God builds you is to put you in situations you can’t control. Sometimes growth is painful, uncomfortable. This will be a great year. A year of struggle.
After chapel I carried on plumbing and Juanita sorted eyeglasses
Oscar sermon was based on 2 Samuel 1:13-16
This the guy who by his own words had finished killing Saul and he’s going to say who is and where he’s from. He was an Amalekite. Saul was told by God to kill the Amalekites and he didn’t. Confronted by prophet “why did you not obey God”. Saul argued that he did most of what he had been ordered. Samuel said he could hear the animals. This is a picture of Saul and his life. He stopped short. Leaves things undone.
At end of life he looks into the face of a young man from the tribe he was supposed to have exterminated. Likewise, he was supposed to kill all the witches. Then when he wanted one there us one left. He went to Endor to consult her – “tomorrow you will die”. Made a pact with Gibeonites. Later this will have consequences due his children.
The danger of knowing what you are supposed to do and not doing it completely. An undone spirit will come back to bite you.
Read the Bible through and haven’t followed through
Mean to fast but haven’t found a good enough time.
Contrast with Paul - “I have run the race”
After chapel I carried on plumbing, Juanita prepped for the food bank but mostly it was okay from Thursday’s prep for the cancelled Friday food bank. At lunch time we headed home. She then ran errands and I worked on a washing machine, installing the part form Amazon and it now works! Learn something new every day.
When we all arrived this morning, an overnight break-in was discovered. Some people went off to deal with that and the rest of us carried on. Oscar delivered the chapel message on Psalm 51
Psalm 51 is the psalm with David struggling to get back with God after all his battles that he had brought on himself. There will be a payment for that. Men tend to think they can get away with things. David will find out the bitterness of that statement. Oscar zeroed in on verse seven but challenged us to read much more than that.
Verse 7 is the heart of the psalm, perhaps of the whole Bible.
Why could hyssop be mentioned here as a cleaning agent. I know the cleaning agent is the blood. People think that Old Testament people were cleansed by the law. But that can’t be because if you miss one thing you have broken the whole law.
The Bible gives you a tremendous amount of info on hyssop. Can’t cover it all today
1 Kings 4:33 Here you’re going to have something from Solomon, son of David. The extremes from the big trees to the hyssop that grows in the wall
Numbers 19: 6 A reference to this passage again. Trees and hyssop and cast into the burning of the heifer.
Exodus 12:22 it was the hyssop that they dipped into the blood to paint on the doorpost for Passover
Numbers 18 hyssop dipped into the blood and sprinkled.
David is approaching an idea with hyssop. Without the blood we have nothing. The sacrificial blood of the lamb when Jesus Christ put on the cross. David cries out cleanse me with hyssop. It wasn’t ignoring the blood. Hyssop was the delivery vehicle of the blood. When Jesus was dying it was hyssop dipped in the vinegar. Hyssop was bitter tasting. It could be sweet smelling but not sweet. It was a very humble tree. It shows the humble nature of the Gospel.
Hyssop was bitter. David cries out from his comfortable life and says I can get away with things but when confronted with his sin. David cries out cleanse me with your hyssop.
There is a concerted effort to avoid the humble and bitter part of the Gospel. It wasn’t sweet to the Lord to die for sin. The blood was about the Lord. The hyssop was about the transport of the blood.
We create new doctrines to avoid the bitterness of the Gospel. We say you can do anything you want but the hyssop says no. Whatever God gives us cannot but clash with the world. You cannot follow them both.
Juanita worked in the food line for the drive through food bank. I did more plumbing after making sure there were some boxes filled ahead for the drive through. After work I bailed out the other non-working washing machine and removed the drain pump. Then removed a child’s sock from the drain pump and reinstalled the pump. The washing machine now works. Yay YouTube! The school of hard socks or something like that.
Oscar is leaving for Nicaragua to help with the missionary training school there. In his last message for us until his return he reminded us about keeping the noise down in the background of his messages. They are recorded for YouTube and Facebook. We were encouraged to keep our phones where we could control them.
In the essence of finding difficulties. When things don’t happen as you expected. Can count on it. People come to the ministry with certain expectations and then you wake up to life as a Christian.
In verse 22 people come out of Egypt. They cross the Red Sea and then in short order find themselves without water.
When things go wrong people always find fault with the leader. When things go right credit goes to the person who does it. Moses is blamed. Why did you bring us to a place with no water?
Naomi. Call me not Naomi call me Mada (bitter). With plants in Bible one of their defence mechanisms is bitterness. Also, thorns.
Plant goes into high gear when an animal starts to bite in it. If you watch video animal takes a few bites and moves onto new plant of same type. Plant releases more bitterness when feels it under attack. In that you find some of wisdom in the Bible. Mada was not a bitter person. Three people dying in her life one after the other. Don’t call me Naomi. Call me bitter. She said it to the people who knew her and welcomed her back. Didn’t say it to her daughter in law. Part of it you are caught in a struggle. Part is a defence mechanism. Give me space.
Just like people going into desert and no water and whining and complaining want to kill Moses. You have run into Mada. You have a choice. In the case of Naomi she resorted to bitterness. There are people who are born grumpy. There are people who have been hurt by others in church and chosen bitterness
God told Moses how to turn water sweet. God has solution. In case of Naomi had Ruth who married Boaz (redeemer - picture of Jesus) then a baby born. Naomi took up baby and said she was Naomi again.
God can bring back the joy and take away the bitterness. In the desert God turned bitter water into sweet.
Oscar’s circumstances of life as child crushed him. Grateful to God because it changed him. At 13 began to preach the Gospel. Now can say “call me Naomi”.
In Africa he couldn’t break through and asked God what to do. God told me to tell them about his time as a child soldier. He did and God used his time of bitterness to open others up to the Gospel.
Juanita worked on food bank preparations under the tent. I finished the drain piping, installed the first sink and connected it to the drain.
Oscar is on his way to Nicaragua. Michael Thoner spoke in chapel. I made notes in an email to myself but didn’t send them right away. In the intervening hours until I reopened the app the editor ate my notes. He spoke about obedience with reference to Hebrews 5:7&8 “He (Jesus) learned obedience from the things he suffered”. Michael mentioned the early loggers in Oregon cutting down the forest. They started at the edge first and cut down the trees there. Before they got too deep into the remaining trees a big storm came up. It blew down the standing trees that had been sheltered by the trees on the edge. The trees on the edge had grown up in adversity and storms and developed roots and strength to withstand storms.
After chapel I connected the second sink to the drains and filled some of the holes made in the wall for piping. Juanita worked in the drive through food bank. After work assembled a shelf unit for one of the missionaries.
Puttered. Re-installed the back-up sensor that fell into car bumper. Did some shopping. Read a lot. Quiet day. Juanita did laundry.
February 13 - 19
Sunday – February 13
Michael spoke in church. He asked if we ever think how nice it would be to not eat liver or not walk in the snow bare footed. There are certain commandments that are easy but then there is the other stuff.
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 talks bout false prophets encouraging people to worship other gods.
I’m sure that Saul of Tarsus was listening too. He saw people trying to lead his people astray. His intentions were good. God tests his ppl. He’s testing our hearts and not because he doesn’t know. He wants us to know.
Matthew 6: summary. Last week said we have limited tools. Here Jesus is saying when you give alms don’t give it in the open because people will see. But do it in secret so God can reward. Same about prayer and about fasting. If do in private there is a better and different reward than in public.
Verse 19-21 Lay not up treasures on earth …
Seven years ago I built guitar. I was very proud of it. Now it’s gone.
Luke 6:27-29 … him that takes your cloak…
At the end of the day would you rather have Justice now or would you rather be obedient. I didn’t give these words so you could be pick them up when it was convenient, they are for every day. We are responsible for today. Tomorrow has its own problems. Be obedient today. That is where strength is. To be obedient today.
High wire for just a moment. The biggest excuse I’ve heard for bad attitudes is it’s a bad time. I was convicted. I put on my gully suit and was prepared to hide, but God asked me if this was a good use of my time.
Michael spoke at chapel. After church he was talking with Cari. Some people had come into her workplace wearing pentagrams and goat tags and they were so nice. Blessed are you when men revile you… maybe I’m not the Christian I should be. Maybe they’re just bad at being satanists like some Christians are not being good at following Christ.
Michael said he is blessed by being a father kids don’t usually obey like we don’t either. There is a place called Gold Beach in Oregon. There was gold right on the surface. We treat scriptures like there may be blessings for us right on surface and we ignore them and try and dig deep looking for profundity There are simple truths right on the surface that we should just obey. Simplicity, approach like a child.
Linda shared at chapel. She listens to preachers as she gets dressed. Gets bits and pieces. Heard something then did more research
Started looking into Satan. Bottom line is he hates the Lord & Christians and will do what he can to trip them up.
1 Peter 5:8 …prowling
Revelation 12:9 position to deceive the world
Matthew 12:25 will do what he can to sow division.
People are easily offended these days. People who wear masks are offended by those who don’t. People who don’t wear masks are offended by people who do. Statues offend some people. Tearing down statues offends others.
Man went to family Thanksgiving dinner. Said to mom she made the best stuffing. Wife on other side of the table thinks what’s wrong with my stuffing.
Young married couple. He makes good living. She doesn’t need to work. Involved in lots of outside activities but has time to make dinner then have time to have coffee and talk. Expectations. One day he’s tired from work and doesn’t communicate and falls asleep. Then next day forgets to take boxes for mailing. Then wife leaves note “gone to visit mother. Eat cereal”. This builds up and up. Then hostility. This is how Satan divides.
Organization. I work out a deal to leave at 2 to run errands. Nobody knows but people start asking to do things. Communication. Unmet expectations.
Look what Satan has done with Facebook
He starts small and makes them big
Matt 5: Sermon on the mount Beatitudes Pep talk Then do’s and don’t’s Whoever says to his bro “Raca” … you go to court for murder but also for anger against bro
5:23&24 take care of offences
You need to deal with an offence right away and not let it grow.
2 things you can do - address it immediately. Go to person - forgive and forget
Matt 5:22 … guilty and go into fiery hell. Rabbit trail. When Jesus uses term fiery hell word is Gihana. Valley south of Jerusalem where kings would sacrifice children to Molech. After that they used that valley as a dump where they burned dead bodies. If you allow yourself to be a person that is easily offended you become an angry person living in a living hell.
After chapel I made several trips to Home Depot to adapt to reality of plumbing and mounting options. Bought some fittings for water supply for sinks. I mounted one urinal and connected the drain.
Fixed leak on faucet at training center also checked faucet from Monday
Installed drain connection for Maytag washing machine and ran through cycle. All the washing machines at the staff motel laundry room work for now.
Juanita helped prepare tent for drive through food bank
Ben is back from Nicaragua and spoke at chapel.
Was walking through warehouse and abundance in it and reflecting back to early days when we had to scrimp and ration it out.
Right after John the Baptist was beheaded. Jesus went to other side by boat and people followed.
He saw a great crowd, took bread & fish and gave to disciples to give out.
I look at what we are doing here and in Nicaragua. We’ve taken five loaves and two fish and it has multiplied and God has given it to us to hand out.
108 students. Started with more. 138 but some double registrations. 10 staff. One the first day we fed all the people and was taking forever. Each was given choice. We changed that and the cooks started assembling premade plates of food and dinner took only twenty minutes.
In the first week people were getting sick. Lost 15 first week. 6 or 7 from sick 7 or 8 from fear.
Juanita worked on the drive through food bank. I worked on the water supply lines for the sinks in the men’s room. Installing concrete anchors slow for pipe straps was slow work without a real drill.
After work we went out for dinner.
On Thursday Zac delivered the chapel devotional beginning with James 5:13-18
This morning I was thinking about prayer. We have our personal prayer time but as believers we need to get together and pray. As believers we need to be more intimate with each other. When I was a nonbeliever I could get together and do things drink, chase women and we wouldn’t judge each other. As believers not always the case.
James. If sick call for the elders. Confess your faults that you can be healed and your sins forgiven. You need to find good Bros and sis you can trust to share faults with. Elijah subject to same passions as us. But he prayed and his prayers were answered from God. Likewise, Daniel.
When we pray: - have faith in God - confess our faults, hard but we are called to do this.
What happens when we have needs? where do we run? We run to the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 Everything is pointing to the coming of the Lord
Matthew 24:3 Jesus on mount of olives. Mount of Olives is significant. Arrival in Jerusalem. Place where Jesus returns. Take care that no man deceive you. Wars and rumours of wars. The beginning of sorrows.
Daniel. Knowledge will increase.
God gives us our faith. When things get dark around us, we can’t rely on our past blessings and prosperity as a country. Our faith has to be in Jesus Christ.
Our message must be that of John the Baptist.
Juanita helped with the preparations for Friday’s drive through food bank.
On Friday there was no formal message. Individuals shared various scriptures. It was noted that the school bus we had worked on here has arrived at the Nicaraguan base camp and the deep sea shipping container of beans is expected to arrive there tomorrow. Juanita helped with the drive through food bank. I worked on plumbing.
Saturday we stayed home. I added picture to the January Update page and wrote e-mails to MP’s in Canada about the situation in Ottawa.
February 20 - 26
Ben Butler spoke in church. My notes of that message:
Gift of prophecy is to take the Bible and make it alive today. Want to open up an idea. Challenge you to learn a story in the Bible. Read and read and study it to find what the words means. Study what the culture was like. Get the story and make it part of your life and tell the story to others. Listened to students in MTS and they had made the story come alive in the listeners hearts. If you do this I’ll let you preach it from the Pulpit if you give me a weeks notice. It’s a polished stone that you can pull out of your pocket and tell it to somebody on the street.
Going to tell a story this morning Luke 15:1… One of greatest stories, the story of the prodigal son…
Ben spoke in chapel.
According to Oscar Zachariah is a book of prophecy most of which are still to come.
Zachariah 11: Open your doors …
Juanita helped with preparations for the drive through food bank coming up for Wednesday, I helped with forklift hoses, and did some personal shopping to buy a metric nylok nut. After that I fixed a toilet in the men’s room and patched holes made in the wall for plumbing.
Ben spoke on 2 Samuel 10:
We can mistake things that are being done on our behalf when we let people come into our lives and give us bad advice.
David sent people as a gesture of goodwill to the new king but the king listened to people whispering in his ear. This escalated until 40,000 foot-soldiers and 700 charioteers died and many others were enslaved.
We have to be careful if we are talking about others or listening to someone about others. Be careful if you are counselling others.
I continued with a patching and installing toilet paper holders
Ben spoke in chapel.
In an autopsy when they are checking they find things, see things Smoking - lung conditions Drinking – liver damage Can see what kind of life you led That’s a physical assessment But what if they did a spiritual autopsy Prayer life, Bible reading etc. Not sure any of us would want that to happen right away
Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones
God is taking about Israel. They are in captivity and dry. The whole nation is dry and empty. God is talking about Isabel but what would happen if God did a spiritual autopsy of US & Canada. Probably dry bones.
God told Ezekiel to prophesize to that valley of dry bones and they started to come to life.
People coming in for food today we have a responsibility to prophecy to those dry bones and bring life to them.
Juanita helped in the food bank drive through. Paul made new men’s room stall door out of surplus cupboard doors, did brick work on doorway at staff motel. Got about half done.
Moved tools out of car. Juanita did a laundromat run. Sorted tracts and purchases for customs list. Packed for Houston. Binge watched Bluebloods episodes on Ion channel.
Up relatively early drove up to Houston in cold breezy weather. Check point was a non event. “Have a nice day”
We stopped for bathroom at Sindon, went to Whole Foods in Sugarland to buy oat bran then tried to have lunch at Five Guys but closed for remodelling. Went to Torchy’s Tacos next door had some designer tacos, a Republican and a Democrat. Handed out some curved illusion tracts and carried on to Alvin. Stopped at Victory Camp and said hi. A SOWER project where we would normally be serving in March if we had brought our rig south with us. Then went to Friendswood and visited with Juanita’s sister, Ninabeth and her husband, Gary. We had a good visit. They have some health issues and have been self-isolating for two years and have yet to go back to church. They watch online. We talked about going to church on Sunday together and then lunch, subject to wellness.
Headed to the north side on a toll road. Took the cash lane at the first toll plaza. No cashier. No way to pay. Is this a branch Covidian decision or a cost cutting measure? I guess research would discover the official, public reasons but it is what it is. It isn’t what it was three years ago, in any case. The bag of quarters we had brought to pay tolls will go to car washes and laundromats.
I took a photo of a poster about EZ Tag. There was a cop parked just beyond the formerly known as toll booths. I pulled along side and rolled down my window. She rolled down her window. I expressed my concerns about not being able to pay. She said that after three times though I would get a bill in the mail from license plate scanners. All subsequent toll “plazas” were EZ-Tag only. We exited and followed surface streets and non-toll freeways to near the home of Juanita’s nephew, Tracy, and his wife Margarita. It took about two hours to go across Houston in rush hour traffic on non-toll highways. They work late and come home in rush hour traffic. We had said we would arrive after supper, so we went for supper at Denny’s around the corner from their home. By the time we were done supper they were home and we drove there with the challenging lack of instructions from Google Maps.
Tracy went to work. Margarita was working from home. We had a good visit with her then left to meet SOWER friends for lunch halfway between their location and ours. Chinese buffet. We arrived late due to time lag in the on screen directions from Google maps. You learned of your exit just after passing it. Google Maps better on Sunday once I figured out the issue was the phone had paired with the car and the audible instructions only came over the entertainment system and didn’t if you had that turned off. Stress levels much reduced.
After lunch we did some shopping, fueled up and ran the car through an ineffectual, overpriced car wash before returning to visit with Margarita until Tracy came home. We all went out for a fabulous meal at Amedeo’s Italian restaurant not far from their home.
Tracy went off to visit his brother, John, in the hospital. We visited with Margarita and then we headed into Houston. Juanita’s sister and her husband were indisposed so we dug out our “next time in Houston” list. We went to look at the Beer Can House which was covered with pieces of aluminum cut from beer cans. It had all sorts of eccentric beer can themed sculptures and structures in the yard. The inside of the house is a museum. It is more conventional themed. The guidelines were the wife controlled what happened inside the house and the husband outside. Boundaries. 😊 Video here.
By then it was lunchtime. We went to a Five Guys burger restaurant for lunch. The Art Car Museum was closed for exhibit changeover. Next choice was to go to Smither Park to look at the mosaics but we decided the continuing drizzle would take the edge off the experience. We headed to Pearland and Friendswood and did a bit of shopping before going to our motel and crashing. We darted out briefly for some fried chicken and called it an early night. Cities are tiring.
February 27 & 28
We were up early Sunday and checked with Gary and Ninabeth and determined we weren’t going to get together today.
After fighting with the EZ Tag app for a long time and being unable to enter a Canadian license plate number I deked and called it “CA” for Canada not California. It seems strange that there is no way to enter Mexican or Canadian license plates. I paid my $20 bucks and hopefully we were legal to travel on the toll roads of Harris County. Pro-Tip - if you do not have a license plate from a US state or territory on the drop-down list of the app use “AA”.
We drove back to Harlingen arriving mid afternoon after stopping for lunch in Riviera.
Monday’s chapel talk was done by Ben Butler.
For last few years and lately I’ve been having a recurring dream. Not saying it’s a vision.
My heart goes out to Ukrainians, a speck on the ground against the Russians
Think we will be having a rough time in the future.
In Nehemiah… it happened when our enemy … and all of us returned to the wall… half built the wall … everyone who built had his sword at his side. When you hear the sound of the trumpet rally…
Feel like those times are upon us. I know that God will fight the battles for us.
There are reports that in Nicaragua the government is going around shutting down American schools.
Juanita helped with the preparations for the next drive through food bank. I went home and repaired the strike plate on our apartment door. Then I called EZ Tag and learned the “AA” pro tip. I finished the brickwork next to the staff apartment door that I started repairing last Wednesday. A trip to the car wash cleaned up the mess the ineffectual Houston car wash had left. While I was there I vacuumed the car and the trunk primarily to get rid of any masonry dust from the brick work repairs. My mother urged me to become a mason like her father. I don’t think that kind of mason lays any bricks, though.