Archive for the ‘Bible study’ Category

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own, or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time.” (C.S. Lewis, 1943 letter to Arthur Greeves)

I saw this today on my brother’s daily Facebook post. It came at a propitious moment. Why? It is 11 o’clock and I have not even begun what is at the top of my “to do” list today.

Here is how the day began.

Cloudy and rainy. Oh good! Don’t have to go to water aerobics, so maybe I can get an early start on writing my Sunday school lesson for our quarterly!

But first I sat down on the couch for prayer, devotional reading, and coffee with Tom. Before we even start I suddenly remembered that I need to email a Genesis Bible study guide to a fellow missionary so that she can start this morning, if she has the time. I also remembered that she is alone with two little ones, as her husband is down river. I sent a note with the attachments to encourage her because I know it is hard.

Back to prayer. Cat nestles between us. Amen.

I grabbed my Bible for some personal time. Also grab breakfast and sit down to study. The rusty seminary gate opens and I hear sounds of people coming our way, but Tom answered the door so I could keep studying. Study done.

On my way to start the Sunday School lesson I remembered I need to message a supporting church who is raising funds for a seminary project this weekend. Phone in hand I headed outside to take pictures to show how much a new weed eater it is needed.

While I was out taking pictures a pastor stopped me to ask for some discipleship material. I needed to get the keys for the Christian Education office but continued to take a few more pics. I discovered one of the pineapple plants is bearing fruit! I went to get keys for Christian Education office. Sent pictures to church. I got the needed discipleship material.

Sun came out! Bodes well for laundry!

Mail arrived and Tom handed me a letter from my mom! Everything stopped for this.

I then decided to make a cup of coffee to get myself back to the desk to write the Sunday School lesson. I saw that there were notifications about my birthday a couple of days ago. That is when I stumbled across this C.S. Lewis’ reflection on what makes up our real lives.

So true. I am thankful that although this morning did not turn out like my imagined schedule, it has been just what it was supposed to be.

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I got into Sergio’s car grateful for a ride home. When Tom dropped me off in this distant part of the city a few hours before, to teach a seminary extension class, our car was making  troubling noises. After class I thought I would head to the nearest bus stop when one of my students insisted he would be happy to drop me off. 

Settling in for the long ride home I was startled to see a pair of handcuffs on the console. I glanced in the back and saw a cap that said, “Federal Police”. I had no idea what Sergio did for a living so I asked him.  Amazed I learned that he is a detective. His job is to investigate all the unsolved cases that are over 10 years old in the city of Manaus. To add pressure to this already difficult job a new law said that these had to be solved in 30 days. I asked him how it was going. He said that it was obvious that God helps him without fail. His partner, a non-believer, once called him the luckiest person he had ever known. Sergio assured him it was because of God’s guidance that he met with so much success.

One day, he told me, he was questioning people in a neighborhood where leads had grown cold.  He really needed information that could only be gotten from someone who had moved long ago. Imagine everyone’s surprise, but Sergio’s, when that very person all of a sudden drove up, after years of being gone. Sergio was used to divine improbabilities.

Sergio has a special tactic with Christians that he meets in his line of work. He shares with them that he also is a brother in Christ and quotes a verse from Leviticus that says, if you know something and don’t tell it, you are sinning. This produces unbelievable results.

Sergio has taken several classes at our seminary and he has been uncertain how God wanted to use him until he took a recent class, Principles of Teaching. He became so convicted about the importance of effective teaching in the church that he told his classmates on the last night of class that he feels a call to teach and be used in the church to train and disciple new Christians in his local church. 

It is delightful to see how God calls many different people to serve him with their unique gifts and talents.  I have witnessed how God has made a detective, on the trail of unsolved murders, into the best kind of sleuth, one who searches out  God’s truth and shares it with others.

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