Monday, September 17, 2007

Today I began teaching English at a local academy. Its a different one than I first thought I would work at...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

This spring an academy came knocking at my email box asking from my resume or CV as they call it here. I gave it to them, interviewed, and they thought they might hire me. But, no students appeared.

I sent my CV out and another Academy (basically tutoring school, common here) called me. I worked part time for the summer ( 5 hrs a week) and thought it was ok, but there were a few warning bells. First, they implicitly trusted me and threw me this girl I thought was never going to learn. Fortunately she did and passed her exam we studied for. I was shocked.

So, I sat down with my potential boss and she handed me 19 hours of potential teaching per week, with the promise of more. I had a small nervous breakdown for the two following days. I refused to answer my cell phone for fear of more work.

But my phone persistently ran on Thursday afternoon, and a very Midwestern American voice pleaded with me to come and interview that afternoon at another Academy, in my neighborhood (10 minutes walking distance), for less hours and more money. Sheesh, I couldn't believe it. I told him I'd sleep on it.

Andrew and my two current house guests( write more on that later) thought I couldn't pass it up. They were thrilled. We prayed about it, slept on it, and made the decision, this was what I would do. Andrew said, just write an email telling this lady you can't work for her, too busy, too many hours.

I did, and she didn't call me until today....panicked, and tried to talk me back into it. I almost relented. But, for some reason, I felt convinced this other situation would be better. I believe I've made the right decision. With the witness of the Spirit with the three men in my house, and within my heart, I see this is the right way.

However, I feel crappy. I've been taught that your word is your life, your character, etc, etc. Your yes be yes, etc, etc. Had I stayed with the first school, I would have had to give up my involvement in church, both in English worship as well as the music group. No way. I would have had less flexibility as she refused to work with me in my travels back to the US, and there was no guarantee she would actually get me a visa, the whole point of this endeavor (besides of course this opportunity is incredible!)

But God was gracious, and yesterday the sermon was about Esther. The preacher whose name is Eleouterio (try saying that 3 times fast) slowly warmed up to his points, one of them has stuck in my head today. Mordacaei comes to Esther and asks her the impossible, to go see the King without being summoned. At first, she says, Heck no, and then sits back to think about it, and realizes she needs some time. Those of us biblically literate know the rest of the story, and I'll sum it up for those who aren't, Esther, a little Jewish girl who won the reality show of the day to become queen, saves the entire Jewish race from obliteration.

However, she didn't feel good about this action at first. But Mordacaei utters those wonderful prophetic words, "for such a day you were made...." or something along those lines.

This helped me sit back and understand that all decisions don't always feel right, even if we know they are right, and God shows us in whatever way, it is the right or better decision. I believe God often gives us choices, and sometimes we don't always listen to those whisperings He gives us. I was blessed this weekend to have several really great dudes under my roof that listened to me, validated my feelings, helped me sort everything out, and make a life changeing decision (thanks Andrew, Hiram and Jon).

Eleouterio also discussed how in Proverbs 31:25, the woman is described as being dressed in strength and honor. Today talking to the other academy took strength. The guys told me I did it honorably, even though I didn't do it face to face (that's my one regret) They told me that face to face wouldn't have helped at all, and she made have said worse things to me. I hope I did it with honor, and my prayer is that I can be like Esther and the woman in Proverbs 31 to continue in this same vein.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ramadan has begun, and so has the major spiritual event for Granada (after Holy Week). I've discussed the Virgin Patron de las aungustias in an earlier post...so I won't repeat myself.

On Wednesday, I did my first bit of public speaking in Spanish at our church. I was asked to lead a devotional at our Wednesday evening prayer meeting. Slightly nervous only right beforehand, I led a short devotional. I've got it typed up in Spanish, so I'll include it below for those who want to critique my Spanish.

Essentially, its my thoughts on how Jesus is our only mediator between us and God. We as evangelicals even fall in the trap the Isrealites did at Mount Sinai, we need God to have a face, and so we make friends, family, and other spiritual people our mediators. We have this subconcious thought we act out on a regular basis, and personally I think like the author of Hebrews...we refuse to go to God alone, because we feel guilty. Its easier than to find someone, a Virgin (for the Catholics) a god or goddess, or for us Protestants, a more godly person than us. We think in a roundabout way that if this person prays for us, or presents our little request, God will give us an answer.

But Exodus and Hebrews show us this comment is wrong. In Exodus, they had a priest, and Hebrews show us we now have an even better high priest! Jesus.

So, when we pray, we can enter alone, without shame and guilt, and ask God for whatever. That simple, that easy. We don't need an idol, Virgin, or more spiritual person to ask on our behalf. Just do it.

Notas para Devocional-Septiembre 2007

Introducción: Habla sobre mi abuela

Mi abuela era creyente y tuvo un testimonio fuerte porque Dios la salvo de situaciones fuertes.

Mi padre se fue de Florida hace 25 anos para estar más lejos, y durante los años fuera, el empezó a pensar que era tan espiritual. Se lo llamo muchas veces para pedírselo orar por algunas cosas. Y, tuvieron muchas repuestas.

Pero creo que la falla de mis padres, y de yo y mis hermanas fue esto, que pensábamos que recibiríamos unas respuestas si la abuela pudiera saber y orar sobre todo.

Que se murió, sentíamos nuestro dolor y no solo sobre estos, pero es lo que hemos encontrado que La Abuela no era tan espiritual como pensábamos. Tuvo muchos esqueletos en sus armarios, físicos y metafísicos.

Porque tuvimos tanto confianza que la oraciones de ella era más validos que nuestros. Porque es tan fácil creerlo. Le encontré este ano porque me esfuerce leerlo La biblia, o lo mas que podría, en este ano en castellano. Estaba leyendo mucho, pero de repente encontré algo fuerte, y tuve que para y meditar sobre estés conceptos. A través de algunos pasajes de Éxodo, me llevaron a Hebreos.

Mi di cuanto en Éxodo que el proceso de ser sumo sacerdote era muy largo, fuerte, y casi aburrido. Cuando leo estos pasajes en Éxodo, me imagino Moisés haciendo los mandamientos de Dios con algunas notas y folios diciendo, vale, que hacemos ahora, y eso que es?

Tuvieron esto proceso impresionante, pero de repente, cuando Miosis tendría que salir y hablar con dios otra vez, el sacerdote, Aarón, tenia dudas, y querian que verian su Dios, y pidió que la gente trajera sus joyerías para hacer un ídolo.

Cuando leemos esto, pensamos fácilmente, que tontos eran! Parece a nosotros, liberados, gente del cultural postmoderna, gente educado, que hacer un ídolo con oro es tonto. Pero hay muchas culturales que sigan así. Tenemos Buda, ídolos de oro y plata en La India, la tribu de Andrew se adoro las serpientes, y la lista sigue…incluido los vírgenes de angustia, y etc.

Y no nos somos libres de estés pensamientos. Se me di cuenta cuando vimos la virgen de no sé que salir de la Catedral este Mayo pasado. Estuvimos comiendo cerca a la catedral y salíamos para volver a casa cuando vimos la virgin a punto de salir. Andrew y yo estábamos con otra pareja, y fue impresiónate verla saliendo, con la emoción, las canciones, los aplausos…..

Y de repente, me di cuanta que nosotros como evangélicos hacemos lo mismo, pero es bastante más sutil. Pensamos que los que son más espirituales que nosotros pueden orar mejor, o Dios quiere escurarles mejor que nosotros. Tenemos nuestros ídolos, o peor, nuestros vírgenes, que creemos que son más espirituales y si ellas oran y lloran por nosotros, tendremos lo que pedimos del Señor.

Pero en Hebreos 4:14 dice...leelo!

Por lo tanto, ya que en Jesús……

El es nuestro mediator. Los que eran y son sumos sacerdotes en el antiguo testamentoy en el presente hacia y sigue hace falta. Hebreos 9:11-15, y Hebreos 9:24ff

Creo que nos sentimos culpable, y olvidamos lo que Jesús haya hecho, y pensamos que no podamos entrar al trono de Dios y habla directamente a Él. Sin embargo, Jesús se murió y se resucito una vez, y fue suficiente como La palabra dice. No necesitamos otra humana, otra virgen, ídolo o tal cosa para orar. Solo lo que tenemos esta suficiente, y si nos buscamos por alguien más, estamos diciendo que Dios ha hecho mal con Cristo. Hoy vemos que….

-es fácil pensar que alguien más “espiritual” tiene el oído de Dios más que yo-es falso.

-el obra de Jesús Cristo fue suficiente para cubrir mis pecados y cada vez que busco otra persona para ser mediator, estoy viviendo un mi culpabilidad, y olvidando que fue todo.

O sea, tendremos que recordar qué Hebreos 10:19FF-y que Cristo es mejor que los ángeles, las vírgenes, mi abuela que era muy espiritual, y todo! Y a través de El, tenemos la privilegio de entrar, orar, conocer Dios, y saber nos había oído!