As God places each little fragment…we become His Masterpiece. Life is made of moments, choices, beliefs… What we see in our finite minds is not the whole picture but only a fragment of a work in progress. Only God in His infinite wisdom can take the broken, the incomplete and make something beautiful…Mosaic in Thee.

Sep 19, 2010

A Moment to Praise the Lord...

Don't you just love it when you know God has orchestrated another beautiful moment around you?  We had one of those moments today!  

We had a wonderful afternoon service at Maranatha Baptist Church for the Deaf.  Two people that had been visiting the church decided it was time to stop living in sin and were married, a young preacher proposed to his beautiful Christian sweetheart, five people were baptized and a first-time visitor, Alejandro, was there with his wife and after the service he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour!  What an amazing day!

After the service, we took Alejandro and his wife, Elsa, home.  I had the opportunity to witness and lead Elsa to our precious Lord!  We were one car load of joy!  

Alejandro has liver cancer; he said they have been looking and looking for something but did not know what they needed in their life.  Praise the Lord, they now have everything they need!

Don't you just love it when you can see the orchestration of God's Hand so clearly!

Sep 9, 2010

An Added Blessing...

Five years ago today, God gave us a beautiful addition to our family; her name is Esther.  She is God's precious answer to our prayers for our oldest son.  Karl is a wonderful man who has a tender heart for the the Lord and an outer toughness to endure and be steadfast. We prayed for most of Karl's life that God would give him a helpmeet, a  person as special as he is to walk through this life with him as one.  Esther is a beautiful woman that loves our Lord and loves our son.  No one could ever ask for more in a mate for their son.  
Seeing God work in their life (because they are one)  is such a blessing!   
However, there is nothing better than watching them raise their children.  I am so thankful for the parents my grandchildren have!  A wonderful blessing God gives to grandparents is a peace in knowing their grandbabies are being raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Happy 5th Anniversary Karl & Esther!!  We love you!! 

Sep 8, 2010

Just a Thought...

Seeing your prayers answered is like smelling the rain before it comes during a gives you greater hope and ensures stronger faith. ~

The words God gave me this morning while I read His Word...

Sometimes when we go through trials or have needs that only God can fill, we can reach a teetering point in our prayers.  We falter to continue faithfully in prayer or maybe we continue but it becomes more a repetition of habit than an actual request.  We must continue faithfully, believing that our God, our Heavenly Father, who loves us more than anything,  (you know, the One that gave His Only Begotten Son for us!)  hears our prayers and answers them.  Like a good parent, sometimes we receive an answer of "no"; other times, He may pause in giving an answer  so that we may realize our true need and, then of course, the moments He says "yes".  

Have you ever experienced the moment like I described above?  The moment you  know without a doubt that God heard you and is about to give you an answer; supply your need.  It's like smelling the rain, a promise of refreshment...refreshing our faith.  An anticipation of something great; Hope.  

I love dwelling on answered prayers...each prayer answered is a special sense of the love my Father has for me.  

When I pray for safety and we reach our destination in one piece...I heard you Father...and I love you, too.  

For each soul saved, for each breath He gives, for each moment of conviction...thank you Lord...and, yes, I love you, too.

How could we ever feel that we are without hope?  Only by allowing satan to toy with our emotions or not focusing on what is real and true do we find ourselves feeling helpless, alone and without hope.  We're just not looking in the right direction...look to God, run to His Word...and remain there!  

"I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope." Ps. 130:5

Don't continue in a spiritual drought!  Call on your Heavenly Father to bring forth the rain!  Saturate your life with His Word...wait for the Lord....hope...and believe; He is able and willing to supply all your needs, physical and spiritual.  He is waiting for your call...

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."  Jer. 33:3

Sep 6, 2010

Nosey Neighbors always hanging around!

Mar 28, 2010

After The Mural

I use to love when my husband would pick wildflowers for me, in the states, store-bought flowers were so expensive, I couldn't justify buying them.  Here the flowers are very inexpensive .  So one thing I do every week is have fresh flowers on my dining room table.  I love fresh flowers!  They help make any old house a home.  

The week that I painted the nursery was a very busy week.  I didn't go to the store for anything, much less have time to think of buying flowers for my table.  When the mural was finished and I entered the husband had bought me yellow roses (you know...of Texas...well, maybe in thought...:)  

Something not needed...something not greatly missed...something so simply.  Simply a blessing.  It was such a thoughtful gift, he just knew it was something I would enjoy.  Underneath the the flowers was the best part! A card telling me how he missed me that week. He is such a wonderful husband!  (Don't let him know I'm telling about his sweet side, the Sargento likes to keep it a secret. LOL)

Mural: Iglesia Bautista de la Fe

I had the opportunity to paint a mural in the nursery at our church in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  Paola, a good friend of mine and Caroline, a teenage girl in the church helped with filling in the big parts and outlining.  They were a big help and we had lots of fun while working.  Everyone seems to love it.  I love 'drawing on the walls'!

Mar 25, 2010

Just Keep Holding On...

When I have a rough moment;  I have this mental image that I make myself remember.  You know how when you were a little kid and you had to hold your mom's or dad's hand when walking through a can't see where youre going because everyone is taller than you...but you don't fear or get confused because theyre still holding your hand.  It doesn't matter that you can't see the path or that you have no idea where you have peace because theyre still holding your hand.  I just try to remember that I'm walking with God the same way, not by sight or knowledge, but by faith that He will never let go.

Psalm 9:10  "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."

2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Proverb 3:5, 6  "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Mar 24, 2010

Coffee Dates With Hubby

We have coffee shops here in Guayaquil called 'Sweet Coffee'.  Yes, the name is in English!  It's similar to Star Bucks in the states, but cost much less and is really delicious.  

Through the hustle and bustle here, we take a break now and then by going on a 'Sweet Coffee Date'.   I enjoy these little moments where I have Kenny all to myself.   It's great to know, after 28 years, we still have lots to talk about!  

Thank you, Lord, for parents that set a wonderful example of how a husband and wife are to treat one another.  Thank you, Lord, for a strong, faithful husband that cherishes me and makes it easy for me to trust and follow him.

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" Eph. 5:22-25

Building A Life In Christ

 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.”  I Corinthians 3:9, 10

Today there are so many things that people call Christianity; but they are only a shadow of what God truly intends for His people…for His Church.
So what does it take for us to build a strong work for the Lord?  To have a life that is pleasing to God?

Salvation – the church is made of born again Christians.  We are the body of Christ.  We are the church.
The building is not the church, we are.  If you have not received Christ as your Saviour, you are not a part of the church.  No matter how long you have been attending, no matter if your name is on the church membership, you are not part of the body of Christ.
Jesus Christ is the perfect foundation on which to build.  He is to be the center of your life.  You must be born again.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Romans 10:13

Jesus wants you to be saved.  That is what He lived and died and lives for…

The natural state of Christians is to be completely submerged in Christ.  Many of us live defeated lives because we do not understand our position in Christ, or maybe we do not appreciate it.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."                   John 15:4, 5

Abide in Christ simply means to stay where you are, or where you should be…submerged in your Saviour.  Rest secure in the Lord.  Don’t try to get out of His arms and choose your own way.  Don’t be afraid of the threats of enemies or discouraged by trials in your life.  Don’t be tempted by what others have in the world or by what they are doing; just abide.  Trust God in everything.

When the prodigal son of Luke 15 made up his mind to return to his father’s house, the first thing he had to do was get out of the pig pen!
Before the Israelites could enter the promise land, they had to leave behind Egypt and all of Egypt’s idols.  They had to leave behind the wilderness that they traveled for many years, their unbelief, and an entire generation of self-centered rebels.
What hinders you from serving God the way God teaches us to serve Him?
We all have to make choices.  What will you choose?  Will you choose the way of the world, or will you choose what you think is right, or do you want the way of God?

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”  2 Cor. 6:17

Shouldn’t we be a living sacrifice for our precious Lord?  Did He not sacrifice everything for us?

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  Romans 12:1, 2

Submission means to obey with a willing heart.  Not because “we have to”  but because we know it is what is right.  Obeying God’s Word is to give God complete control of your life.  We know we can trust Him, but how often do we take control of our life and not obey God.  How often do we think our compromise with God is good enough.  When we do not obey God completely and do not give Him complete control, we are disobeying the Word of God. 

“But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.”  Jer 7:23

Why does God want us to obey Him, submit our lives to Him?  So He can bless us, protect us, provide for us…it is for our benefit.
There are benefits when we build a Christ centered life.
You will know the truth…John 7:17, 18  “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.  He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”

Your prayers will be answered…sometimes God says ‘no’ and sometimes He waits so we can prepare ourselves to receive His answer…but God will answer your prayers…1 John 3:22 “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

You will be filled with joy…Psalm 37:4, 5 “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”  Happiness comes and goes with the moments, but joy continues in your heart.  It is a comfort from the Lord.

You will have power…Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”   Power from the Holy Spirit to be a part of what is very important to God; winning souls.

You will ‘see’ Jesus…John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

It is a wonderful thing when we can see Jesus Christ in our lives, it is a powerful thing when others can see Jesus Christ in our lives.

No true child of God would willingly reject a life filled with such joy and victory, however, many times we fail to meet His qualifications for a Christ centered life. 

One reason we fail; we do not study His Word enough.  We aren’t sure how to live a Christ centered life because we don’t read the instructions.

Another reason is that even when we are aware of the life available to us, we continue to struggle to believe that living victoriously is possible for us in a personal, pratical, everyday life.

When I think about walking with God, I think of how a child walks through a crowd of people with his father.  His father is holding his hand so he won’t get lost, the child cannot see where they are going at times because of all the great obstacles and people.  He holds his father’s hand and follows.  Why does he follow?   He trusts his father to lead him to the right place.

 He knows his father loves him.  The child knows that if he lets go of his father’s hand, he will be separated from him causing him and his father to be sad, and the child in danger.  This child is wise enough to know that he needs his father. 

Proverb 3:5, 6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Ask God to take you by the hand and lead you.  Follow him and never let go.  Of course, we can do nothing in our own strength.  Only in faith can we achieve a life that is pleasing to God. 

Romans 5: 1, 2 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

When we live our life God’s way, we can be a strong part of the church.  In faith, we can add wisdom to the church.

 Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
We can be a part of the heritage of God that others may follow and build upon. 

1 Cor 3:10  “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.  But  let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
Peace does not come from good circumstances, luck or anything other than faith and living for God.

Living for God enables us to be an encouragement to others to live for Him.

Do we trust God in everything?  Do we prove our trust by giving God complete control in our lives? 

Take some time and evaluate your life.  It’s easy to say, “I trust God completely”, but what do your actions say or your response to trials and temptations? 

Are we trusting God in everything?

What we see from day to day in Ecuador

Ceviche de Camaron, mmm, it is my favorite dish!  The best place to get it is at a little hostel in Playas.
Kenny with the men from the rehabilitation center in Guasmo.
Peddlers and beggars in front of the catholic church.  
Big and small....we got 'em all!
Soooo many people....Soooo little time...
Cuy, (guinea pig) Ready for a cook out?
Not so mega Mega Taxi.
Fishermen in Playas, putting out nets.

These are just a few of the sights we get to see here in Ecuador.

Mar 23, 2010

...This Makes Me Think Of Heaven

, originally uploaded by marmiecantrell.
Rain is coming soon this evening.
I love how my Heavenly Father uses so many beautiful things to remind us that Heaven Awaits.

Mosaic In Thee...

When an artist makes a mosaic, his first step is to plan how he wants the final picture. He makes a grid or a sketch of the final picture to use as a guideline or instruction. He, then gathers the pieces he chooses to use.

Often, the pieces have very rough edges and need to be gently ground smooth. Many times the pieces are too large or have the wrong shape to be used so the artist must break off the unusable parts.

Once complete, he takes time to properly place the pieces in order of use. After securing each piece in place with glue; he saturates the entire work of art with grout, covering the entire picture. Ever so gently, he removes the excess with a soft cloth to reveal the finished master piece.

When I think of my life, I can just imagine it being a mosaic in process. God has decided what He wants for my life. (It will be the absolute best because He loves me so much) He has a plan for each person. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jer. 1:5

As the Artist of my life, He has drawn a grid; a written instruction manual for me. It is direction to where all the variety of pieces that make me who I am fit into the life God wants to create in me. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” II Timothy 3:16

The trials, temptations, and circumstances we deal with everyday are used to shape us into usable pieces of a beautiful masterpiece. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 Unfortunately, many people turn away from the Lord during these tough times and their hearts become hard. As we would with a wayward child; God uses whatever it takes to break through a hardened heart, to once again, have that sweet fellowship with His children.

While God is placing the pieces of my life in order, I must learn to wait on Him and not rush His Hand. His Timing and His Ways are perfect. “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.” Ps. 130:5

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Rom. 10:13 Repenting of my sins and receiving my precious Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ;

I am secured within His arms being set in a heavenly place. “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” Eph. 2:6

The Artist fills in all the empty places of my life with His Holy Spirit saturating my life with His perfect love. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” John 14:16

The final touch the Master applies is to buff away all the wastes of this life with His Mercy and Grace to reveal the masterpiece in me. “The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” Ps. 138:8

A mosaic is a beautiful piece of art, but when pieces are missing it greatly reduces its beauty. Are we keeping pieces of our lives from God?

Give God every part of your life, let Him have complete control. Exalt His power in your life and become the beautiful person He has intended you to be.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Prov. 3:5 – 6

We are all a work in progress!