“I thought on my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies” (Psalms 119:59).
“I thought on My Ways…”The poet gives us the first step in turning to God–reflection. He thought on his ways and stopped his course of folly. He examined himself, and what he saw he didn’t like.
He had gone too far without thinking, which describes a lot of traffic on the highway of life. He had lived with presence of mind but absence of thought. Not thinking denies one the fuller like. For there can be no harvest-time of character without a see-time of thought.
Thinking on one’s conduct has the power to stop the evil and right the wrong. When the thief thinks on his ways, the peasant gets his cow back.
There is always hope for an individual who stops to do some serious thinking about life. –Katherine Logan
Thus, as we would expect, the first step in the Prodigal Son’s long journey home was his coming to himself (Lk. 15:17). Only after getting a person to think upon his condition–his guilt and its consequences–can we hope to change him.
Therefore, we need to stop to think and think to stop. If there are bad things in our lives, a little thinking will help us see it’s so.
As we celebrated our ‘annual meeting’ (8 consecutive years) with CCAlamos and the communities we work with, Dan was telling us how the message always is the same–we need to be ready because the coming of our Lord is at hand. We need to stop and think. As we were reflecting on the work and all things involved in putting together this event, Jerry was sharing with us how the Lord stopped him on his tracks as he was sort of feeling overwhelmed and a bit frustrated with all the things needing his attention. Then he remembered what Jesus said to Martha…”you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part…”Lk. 10:41-42).
I am always amazed at the ways our Lord works in our lives. Needless to say, I don’t always agree with His ways, or much less understand them, but that doesn’t matter as long as I obey…One thing is for sure, HE IS FAITHFUL!!! Knowing that about Him, I had no doubt in my mind that He would show up at our meeting last Sunday, where our goal was to honor and lift Him up!
Dan often tells us the only thing we have to do is ‘serve the multitude’ (Lk. 9:16). The Lord wants us to participate with Him in what He is doing in this world, isn’t that amazing? He prepares everything, then invites us to come and be a part of what He is doing. How often though we forget that and are all stressed out thinking it is us who have to do the work, the convincing and all..?
I took Josie to visit her relatives last Saturday. The guy with the dark glasses is Josie’s maternal grandfather. His name is Juan. He is such a gentle and loving man, a believer too! He is 67 years old and has Glaucoma, (a disease of the eye that damages the optic nerve and is the leading cause of blindness). I read that there is no cure for glaucoma, but there are treatments for it, and they fall into two categories: medication and surgery. I would really like to take this man and get him checked to see what can be done for him. The lady standing there making ‘tortillas’ is Don Juan’s wife Lupita. She is mentally ill. In the next, you see Josie with her mother, who is also mentally ill. The older lady in the white dress is Josie’s paternal grandmother, her name is Gabriela.
It was good for us to visit all these people, and I would like to take Josie to see them once a month, Lord willing. Don Juan is the only believer in Josie’s family, that I know of, except for the aunt Josie lived with before moving back to the ranch. Josie’s maternal grandparents, and mother lived in very unsanitary conditions. Don Juan cannot do much due to his poor vision, which gets worse every day. It is a bit overwhelming to see such an unhealthy and unclean environment and not being able to do much…
The relatives on Josie’s father’s side live and in better conditions. I am glad we are getting to know them. We so want to share the message of salvation with all of them.
PRAISE & PRAYER REQUESTS: We are so very thankful for everyone that helped put this event together. Warren and his group, Jo & Jerry, Rogelio, Alfonso, etc…We praise the Lord for all the people that were able to come. We had lots of new faces, and also people we hadn’t seen in a long time. PRAISE THE LORD FOR HIS UNFAILING LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS!
Pray for the jail ministry. It is such a privilege and an honor to be able to share with the men there. Pray for God to touch their hearts and open their understanding so they can come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.
Pray for Chelsea as she is away, we miss her very, very much, but know the Lord is using her where she is.
Please pray for the salvation of Josie’s relatives, for a way to help her family, especially her grandfather Juan.
Pray for Rochelle & her sons as they have tickets to fly to Tucson December 7th, then drive to the ranch the next day. Also for Levi as he will be having a bronchoscopy November 22nd. Pray for the Lord to completely heal and restore his air way.
Please pray for the girls here in our house, Daniela (AKA Lolis), Dulce, Monse & Josie for them to have hearts after God’s own.
Continue to pray for us to be wise and win souls!
Daniel’s perspective: I love to trace things back to their origin. I’m not talking about family trees and such, but instead about how certain things come to be what they are, and how certain people come to salvation through Christ. Every year as we get together, we remind people that over thirty years ago, one of the first missionaries out of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, came back to the town where he and his wife had restored an old ruin and had lived a life that, although full of events, was empty of meaning. When Frank & Betty Robles came to Jesus Christ through the witness of their son Frank Jr., something very radical took place and life would never be the same again for them.
Frank & Betty had a missionary/language school that I attended in 1978 in Alamos. Along with me were four others in the group, two ladies and two other young men. Now, over thirty years later, the three of us guys are still serving the Lord in full time ministry. Bruce Hoffman is in Sinaloa, Mexico, John Bonner is in Lima, Peru, and I’m the one that stayed closest to home and am still in the Alamos area.
On Sunday, there were a whole lot of people here in the ranch that have never known Pancho & Betty Robles. There was a youth group even that “just so happened to be here” all the way from Los Mochis, where Bruce is still there pastoring. They didn’t know about Pancho & Betty, but now they do.
I try not to trace things back to people until they have gone to be with the Lord. I don’t think that any of us need praise from men, if we are truly serving the Living God and living to please Him. (Please don’t get me wrong, it’s just the way I see things). But there were well over 200 people here that were just a very small percentage of the lives that have been touched because of two people being faithful to God’s calling and dedicated the time and made the investment in the lives of so many others to help them bear fruit for the Lord. I can’t even begin to imagine the thousands upon thousands of lives that have been touched by them. Now, we could take a step back from there and see how Pastor Chuck’s life was used to touch them, and how Pastor Chuck’s mom was used to teach him, and how someone had to have taught her the importance of raising her children to be servants of the living God, but then I would be taking you in the wrong direction.
What I really want to do is to encourage each of you to see yourselves as the starting point for the thousands of lives that will be touched by Jesus through you, if you are simply faithful to Him. Remember, the disciples had no way to feed a crowd of 5000+. But they were able to serve up the food that Jesus gave them to serve. We just need to be willing to do that, serve up what Jesus is giving us.
So, reflect on the people that God has used to win souls, but then make sure that you also serve up to others what only Jesus can provide, and you will never be sorry for having done so.
We love you all and are so thankful for each one of you,
Daniel & Ana