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Archive for January, 2011

Impertinent Praying

I was in a hurry this morning, racing against the clock.  But knowing I needed to start with my priorities in order I sat down for a quick time in the Word.  Soon satisfied that I had gotten my Bible reading done, I grabbed my prayer journal.   With an eye on the clock I started praying.  I had just started asking God to help Tom as he spoke at a pastors’ breakfast and to ask God to help with some issues at the seminary when the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder.   I suddenly had a glimpse from His perspective of what my prayer must sound like to God.   Rather than a holy conversation I was giving God a “To Do list”!  I cringed. Was I daring to tell God what He should be doing?  Was I actually rattling off a list of things He needed to get moving on?

Tozer wrote, “Everyone is just as holy as he wants to be.” And with praying like this I wasn’t getting very close to the heart of God or tasting the communion He has for me.  So I think it is time to grab a cup of tea and have an unhurried chat and see what He wants ME to do.

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Our daughter turned 11 recently and she hoped and prayed that we would take her to one of her favorite restaurants here in Manaus.  I like to make my children happy and let’s face it, I love any excuse to go out to eat.

We pulled up to Mr. Pizza earlier than the typical hour for Brazilian dinner but parking on the street was already getting tight.  What makes Mr. Pizza so popular?  Delicious all-you-can-eat pizza, all-you-can-drink soda, and you don’t even have to leave your table.  

We hardly had our napkins in our laps before the first flavor came by.   I could not resist the palm heart pizza heavily laden with …palm hearts.  Soon to follow was mozzarella with abundant slices of tucumã, a regional palm nut.  More familiar flavors soon found their way on our plates such as ham, four cheeses and pepperoni.  Twenty-four different flavors tried their best to entice us.  Here are some of the irresistible flavors.

Tomato and basil, chicken sausage with white creamy cheese, Brazilian sausage with onions, ham with sliced eggs, chicken with garlic (yum), chicken with white creamy cheese, dried tomatoes, beef stroganoff, chicken stroganoff, tuna with veggies,cassava (manioc),  bacon with two cheeses and mushrooms, white and/or brown chocolate with or without strawberries,  passion fruit, caramel, pineapple, cupuaçu (a rainforest “super fruit”), and finally banana with chocolate.

Our favorites?  The birthday girl’s favorite was the beef stroganoff.  Mine was the tomato with fresh basil.  Anna’s?  The nutty flavor of the tucumã.

Hmmm,  let’s see, when is the next birthday?

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I had to make some hard choices on our return to Brazil.  New air regulations meant that we were limited to two bags each at 50 pounds, rather than 70.   An extra bag now cost $200.00 rather than $100.00.  I was half tempted to do what the fictional missionary family, the Prices, did in the book The Poisonwood Bible. When they traveled to Africa each member wore many layers of clothing and stuffed all of their pockets with goods.  My children were not open to the idea.

Usually I bring a well chosen supply of medicines.  We can get most everything in Brazil but there a few things that I like to have, like a whole bottle of Tylenol rather than the little packets they sell here.  Only one allergy medicine works for Tom and we have never found it in Manaus.  We discovered that a simple over the counter anti-itch cream like hydrocortisone cream is only available at special labs and is very expensive.

 After carefully calculating all of the possible medicinal needs for the next two years,  conscious of  our weight limit,  I ended up arriving in  Brazil with only a handful of items.  True, in years past I had brought way too much of this or that but this time it was shockingly slim.   I was dismayed when I saw that I had not brought even one bottle of cough syrup.  The U.S. formula is more effective for some reason.  

A few weeks after our arrival I was in the home of a close Brazilian friend,  Marlene.   She and I had recently formed an accountability group so I was there for our meeting.  As I was getting ready to leave she asked if I would help her out.  A work team had come down a few months before and had left a huge supply of medicines.  Would I be interested in taking them?  They were taking up too much room in her house. She brought out two huge sacks full of pain relievers, cold medicines, lice ointment and allergy tablets. Yes, there was  a bottle of cough syrup also!

Since New Years Eve I have been battling a severe cold.  I don’t like to take medicines until really needful but I came to a point  where the only way I could get any rest was with some of those medicines.   Thank you Friendship Wesleyan Church for supplying our need even before it was a prayer.

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