Thursday, December 29, 2016

Boldness


 
 
God has called us to a life of action. There are all to many of us who want to sit on the side lines and wait for Jesus to come back and rescue us from our hardship, without being the faithful tenants that Christ talks about in the gospels. Often times this is an attitude we take when we are overcome with fear of other people. This is a time in History that especially calls for action on the side of the church. If it’s not apparent yet, no amount of wishing that the world won’t get darker and darker, well we listen to our worship songs and sip our coffee and have someone talk about how bad the world is, will amount to a hill of beans. God might hear every one of our prayers, but He is much more interested in us doing what He says. If any of you have children you should understand this thought. Do you want your children telling you how hard there life is and that you should really not ask them to be obedient if you loved them? I’m glad God is more patient with me than I deserve because it certainly gets my blood boiling when the same line of logic is tried on me. Any good parent gives boundaries and structure for the benefit of their children. If you don’t discipline your kids in love, it’s them who it costs. 

We talk about godliness in many Christian circles as if it’s something that we achieve by not acting. It’s the thought that God finds pleasure in our avoidance of sin. We don’t smoke, don’t swear, don’t drink, and don’t fornicate. I’ll tell you that God doesn’t care and the Devil doesn’t tremble because of all of the things that we don’t do. I have also seen a great counterfeit for boldness in our modern day Church. Our boldness for Jesus has to be more about God’s desires, then our sinful need for self-assertion. I have been at a few Christian ministries, where the leadership is hiding the sinful attitudes of domination and manipulation with “god words.” It doesn’t count. You can’t classify that as what God considers boldness in the scripture. If it’s not in line with God’s desires, or is presented in a way that is not fitting for God’s desires it doesn’t count. Think about Moses in the case of striking the rock, out of turn (exodus verses). God did not have kind words for His sinful exertion of power.            

One of my greatest struggles of life is being bold and taking action when the time calls. I can recount dozens of times that I have failed in this area. I think God has placed me in situations time and time again; where I must take action, say something or do something, and I have fallen short. My lack of boldness is something that God is using difficult situation upon difficult situation to help me grow through. To be honest I feel allot like Gideon in Judges 6 who was threshing wheat in a wine press at night so the Amorites didn’t hurt him or take his grain. I love that after God visits Gideon, the first thing he told Gideon to do was to smash up his father’s alter to Baal and to cut down the Ashura pole beside it.  It was a great call to boldness for Gideon. God called Gideon to trust him in the midst of great fear. God called Gideon as a judge to save Israel from there oppression.

I can’t say that my fear is entirely unwarranted. I have been bold in situations that have cost me. I have stood up to sinful leadership, and been ostracized for it. I have said things that are unpopular but true, and labeled as a trouble maker. I have stood by the little guy and lost friends.  There are other times when I was just doing something nice for someone out of a kind heart and they took offense to my kindness. It weighs heavy on my heart because this happened on several occasions. There were times in my life when got half of a story and really tried to be a help and somehow offended or upset people in the process. People misread my kind hearted actions as malicious. Until I met my beautiful wife who spent allot of time telling me what God thought about me; I felt like some strange cross between Mr. Bean and the 1950s Frankenstein’s monster. All of that can make a person gun shy when making decisions. It is something I greatly want to overcome.

 For others though, this problem is not a paralyzing thing. For me, on a regular basis it is all to paralyzing. The reason I am going into so much detail is just to say: I have some negative experiences which don’t offer much light. I do however have the Bible which is always true even though for me this is still a necessary area of growth.

 

One of my favorite verses in scripture is Proverbs 28:1. It says, “The wicked flee, though no one peruses, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” I love this verse because, people that share Gods heart are immovable in objects of right and wrong. They are steadfast, regardless of the cost. It is an attitude I desperately long to have.  

I also love these verses in acts. I love that in spite of the opposition the disciples faced, they prayed for boldness. How many of us instead of boldness to continue on, would pray that God would make all of the hard stuff go away.

 23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

 

“‘Why do the nations rage

    and the peoples plot in vain?

26 The kings of the earth rise up

    and the rulers band together

against the Lord

    and against his anointed one.[b]’[c]

27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

 

31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

A great example of Godly boldness is listed in 2 Samuel Chapter 7.  King David, out of a compassion for God, realizes that He is living in a Palace, and the Ark is in a tent. He wants the representation of Gods house to be bigger, and nicer than His own. It was something that God didn’t expect from David, but came from David’s compassionate heart. David was taking a righteous initiative, not out of any expectation from God or others. Simply from kindness and compassion. I would like to have that kind of heart myself. The heart of giving with no obligation.

After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”3 Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”4 But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying: 5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. 7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

God commended David’s boldness for God on a few occasions. He was looking at God’s heart and glory, being more important than His own life. In 1 Samuel chapter 17, he took on Goliath, through faith in God. He knew that God was bigger than any giant.

It is important for us to be bold. We have to look at life through the eyes of faith in God. Don’t be discouraged by the odds. God plus 1 is always a majority. The interesting thing about people as that a negative view of things can keep us from being affective. That is exactly what the Devil wants. He wants to keep us discouraged, because God choses to use us. If we are active about God’s work, the plans of the Devil get thwarted at every turn. Let us be positive about the things that God wants to accomplish. He doesn’t need us, He just wants to include us. Caleb knew this and was bold for God in the face of opposition. He also was looking at the size of God rather than the size of the problem.

 Numbers 13:30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

 

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

 

God’s encouragement to Joshua was to be strong and courageous in spite of the enemy. The took the land, by faith in spite of impossible odds, because it was God who did it.  

Dueteronamy 31:

31 Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: 2 “I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross the Jordan.’ 3 The Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the Lord said. 4 And the Lord will do to them what he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land. 5 The Lord will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Here are a couple more that have been an encouragement to me to.

Ephesians 3:11.

11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

Hebrews 4:14-16.

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 10:32

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

A life that pleases the Lord, demands our faith in Him despite our obstacles. It sees Him as the answer to our hardships and obstacles. God asks for our boldness and trust in Him. He gives us God sized problems so that He can be the solution, He never leaves us in any of it but we must boldly trust Him with the eyes of faith.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Discernment

Daniel Martin


Discernment and boldness are two things that God, want’s to develop in each of us. Both of them need to be developed equally. We must obtain a good measure of both as Christians to be productive in God’s work. We can all conjure up images of people who are overly bold and don’t have a good level of discernment. The Old Testament is full of people who make choices as such.  Everyone knows at least one person who fires off like loose cannon with careless words and actions. Hopefully you who are reading this don’t have that struggle. If you suffer from being “gung hoe” with poor judgement; you need to develop a great deal of patience in life to overcome it. Having a poor discernment won’t keep you from taking action; but, it might be a wasted effort. When you have a word for a Christian brother or sister, who is doing wrong and needs correction; how you say what needs to be said, is almost as important as what you say. We can even wound and injure people by being careless about doing good things for others.
 Thoughtfulness and discernment are the opposite of carelessness. Being thoughtful doesn’t take allot of time, but, it does take more time and patience than many are willing to go through! There is something we must surrender when we consider our ways in light of Gods desires. We must give up the right, to be “right”, and surrender, however difficult it may be, to the bigger picture (what God has in mind).  When we are brash and hasty in our decision making, we sacrifice the larger and more important picture of things on the altar of personal gratification. Later, we face regret, as we visit the same questions about why our relationships suffer. 
Without wisdom, the goals we aim for may not be realized by our attempts. Proper discernment is essential to healthy relationships, and realized goals. But it raises a question: “how do I have good discernment?” First of all, scripture gives us a few very direct verses. James 1:6-8 says, “6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” So we must ask God for wisdom, and believe that He will give it. I really like this verse because it comes with a promise. God gives wisdom to everyone; no matter how foolish they are; if they ask God! This verse also leaves an opening for a question. How often should we ask God for wisdom? I would say, as often as you need wisdom. Which for me is quite a bit.
 God is not trying to hide answers and directions from us. He wants to be the source for them since he created the universe. His is the roadmap we have to give our attention to. God is a lot like a good parent, who wants us to build our trust in Him. He is always in the right because He is the source of our life. In the beginning of 2 Chronicles, God was pleased with Solomon being the king. He told him that he was allowed to have anything he asked God for. Solomon asked for wisdom. He knew that being a king was impossible without Gods direction and help. Truly it was a wise decision. The book of proverbs is full of wisdom that God gave to Solomon as testimony. It is probably my favorite book in the Bible and I am always finding new things in it. One of the constant themes of proverbs is being thoughtful about your actions. The book begs us to consider your ways in light of what God thinks.
 Also a huge theme of proverbs is seeking wise counsel. There should be no shame in trying to find answers where we don’t have them. As the church, we have a responsibility to open and not condescending to people who ask. As mature believers, we must admit that weren’t born wise. There were surly other believers who were a key part of our maturity. I know in my life it was there wisdom and patience that made me who I am today.
   What is the other key ingredient? Patience! I have learned by experience that there is almost nothing in life worth having, that doesn’t require time, perseverance, longsuffering, and even temperament. If we don’t have the ability to see longsuffering as a necessity for realizing God’s good goals; we will be rounding the same corner of stunted Christian growth over and over.
 Patience is something that you develop over time. You can’t run a marathon, without rigorous training, no matter how genetically disposed you are to running.  1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” If you want to develop patience you can’t take the easy way out.
 So if you keep finding yourself in regret of your choices you have made. Don’t be hard on yourself, but take a step back and consider your ways. If you don’t know what to do, ask God. If things are still fogy, go seek out wise counsel. Finally; when you know the right direction to go; be persistent in that direction. Good skills and attitudes take time to acquire. If you have a bad habit, it will take a good amount of time to build a decent one in its place. However all of the wisdom in the world means nothing, if it sits on the shelf. That is the topic of part 2. Boldness. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

November Newsletter

Trip to the beach with Poppie.
October was a productive and busy time for us.  Daniel’s parents were here for a visit.  Because of the weather in Oregon they ended up staying here with us an extra few days.  It was too bad they had to delay their trip home for their sake but we were glad to have them here a bit longer.  We had a really nice time and they got to see a lot more of the country this time as well as get a bit of rest.

Kaitlyn and David at giving away toys
While Dan’s parents were here on the extended part of their trip David (Dan’s dad) and I along with Kaitlyn the nurse from Siloe’ clinic went to Rancho Viejo for part of a day.  It is a place about 45 minutes from our house up the canyon East on a dirt road.  It is a small farming community where they grow food for both the US and Mexico.  I went to take pictures of the children that live there for Christmas gifts, as an out reach that the Clinic does.  We get the pictures and then they send them to people in the US willing to buy gifts for the kids.  This area is so poor that many live in three sided shacks or have palm leave roofs.  All the children were barefoot and all the adults were at work in the fields with the children at home on their own.  Most don’t’ attend school because of the lack of transportation. It is a beautiful but heartbreaking place to be.

Kaitlyn and I looking for kids at Rancho Viejo.
I took some little toys, children’s books, gum and bibles with us.  I told the kids if they smiled that they could take something from the bag of stuff and they all smiled and were delighted with the hand me down toys and the adults really appreciated the Bibles.  We stopped at one little trailer to ask if there were any children there and instead got an elderly man in need of care.  He had a nasty infection on his foot and Kaitlyn took a look and saw that he needed to come into the clinic and directed him to do so.  I left him with my little spray bottle of “hand sanitizer” which is vinegar, water and tea tree oil and instructed him to use it twice a day.  Our hope is that he will use it so the infection does not spread.  I hope to go back sometime soon to bring him shoes.  He is all alone and was wearing shoes that didn’t match with the laces undone because of the pain in his foot.  I got his size and like I said hope to go back sometime.

Clara, Nutcracker and The Trees.
Eight large packages arrived in the mail for us.  Well techniquely I have to go to the states to pick them up but you get the point.  For two weeks our front room has looked like an explosion of tutus.  I can’t even believe what a blessing has been given to my students.  I will be doing a lot of sewing and taking and letting out for the next few weeks but it is SO much better than having to buy it all.  In reality we would not be doing this without the help.  Now there is very little let to buy in order to outfit all the girls.  The costumes are amazing and I love how God provided though the Oregon Coast Dance Center and Traveling Tutus.  The girls at Casa De Luz (the Primo Tapia Day Care) did their dances in front of the whole Day Care in costume and they all just beamed with pride.  This is going to have such a profound effect on the kids and the community, thanks to all that have prayed and supported us though this.  A few sets, props, and a touch more costumes are we are ready to go!

Dan’s guitar classes are going well also.  He is working on the song Silent Night for the Skill Center Christmas program.  There are two girls in his class in particular that are doing very well.  They are American’s but are sort of stuck here after their father passed away and left their mother (an Italian) in Mexico with no papers.  This is for sure a highlight for them and they always leave class smiling.
Dan with a student at Casa De Luz
I did a photo shoot of a fellow missionary friend here.  He is a retired missionary and has just finished writing a book.  He needed a good head shot for the book and for marketing stuff so I happily obliged.  Dan took a couple of trips to the states to get costumes and spent some time one day with a pro-life group hanging out and encouraging them.  

Dan met a women when out and about doing evangelism one day in serious need of a blanket.  Dan has tried to approach her a few times before but she is so out of it that she screams whenever anyone comes near.  We went through our linen closet and took her a blanket and pillow and Dan left it near her and let her know it was for her.  We got to celebrate a birthday at a local children’s play park with Archie’s one close friend.  It was a super fun day although long and hot. Next Tuesday I will have my turn leading the ladies Bible Study group I am a part of.  At first I did not want to lead but this week’s topic spoke to me so I am actually looking forward to that.  My health has not been real great this month so Dan has been taking over a lot of things and so he has been extra busy.  Interestingly he and Archie are sick right now too so it has been and interesting few days.  Life and ministry goes on as regular, dance, music, discipleship, evangelism, Bible studies, working hard to get everything done in a timely manner when even things like washing produce is an all-day project.


Our little valley of La Mision.
Prayer:  Monday we go to the Mexican Consulate in San Diego to try to get our legal residency status.  This is our third attempt so please pray that I have everything in order and that we actually get to step number two of the four step process.  Also please pray that we would all be well for the trip.  Like I mentioned my health has had some downs this month, prayers for that are appreciated.  Archie has been suffering from allergies pretty bad.  We would love prayer for him on that.  We have a few personal things to make some decisions on nothing huge just too many little things to list out.  Please pray for wisdom and the ability to sort through our thoughts and make good decisions.  Please pray for boldness as we go about our life and ministry that we might be people who present the gospel and do it as God want’s it done.


Blessings!
The Martins

If you are interested in financially or in prayer partnering with Morning by Morning Ministries contact our treasurer at djc4225@gmail.com or 503-842-3999.  You can donate online with paypal and you can find the links on our Facebook and Blog page.  If you want to keep updated make sure you sign up for our  snail mail and e-mails newsletters, check us out on Facebook and don’t forget to read our weekly Wednesday blog at blogspot.com.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Giving Everything to God

By: Rachel Martin

There are numerous places in the Bible it tells us to “Love the Lord your God with all your might, all your heart and all your soul.  It tells us to love God with everything not just some things.  It tells us to give him our heart which speaks to service and loving others.  It also speaks to following Christ and helping others and loving Him enough to want to be like Him.  It tells us to love Him with all our might.  Everything we have our strength and passions to use them for Him.  It speaks to holding fast to His teachings and stand for His principals.

Here is where it gets tricky though.  It also says to love God with all our soul.  The deepest part of who we are.  Our soul is the everything of who we are.  The good and the bad.  It is in essence telling us to give over those sins onto which we hold so dearly.  I know I am guilty of this as well.  I claim things that are not Godly and hold onto them for dear life.  I use to be a worrier and always tried to control my life to the ninth degree.  Until God took it all and taught me that it was a part of me He wanted.  I hate it when I see people heading to this same place and I think “God’s gonna take that if you don’t give it up and it isn’t going to be pretty”.  It is so much easier to listen to the gentle wooing of Christ saying “I want you to you to love me with your soul, I want to shine my light in those dark places you hold onto” instead of having to rip those things away from you.

Christ wants everything, that includes our soul.  Let us not be people that claim things and be proud of them when Christ want’s those things gone.  If He truly wants us to love Him with our very soul then should we not be giving every little dark spot of our soul to Him to shine light into?  Let us not be people who claim that we cannot change, who claim that it is “too hard” who claim things as “part of who we are” when they are in no way Godly.  Let us always let Christ into every part of our soul so that we may grow and change and become who He wants us to be.


If you take a moment to think about it those things that you claim are a part of you, Christ wants those too.  Let us always be Christians who take a step back and take a look at our lives and see if there is something we need to be giving to Christ.  I am not just talking about the biggies here either, major sins or the fact that our prayer lives could use some work.  I am talking about little things that the world tells us are righteous, short term anger, workaholics, control freaks, doubters, unloving of those who have wronged you, gossips.  There are a million little things we all do and think nothing of it.  When you actually let go and give God every part of you and allow Him access to even the things that you think you can’t live without.  There is freedom. Peace and freedom like you can’t even believe.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October Newsletter


Back to School October Newsletter

This is the simple version of our latest snail mail newsletter.  For the real deal with pictures and more info let us know your address and we will send your our quarterly snail mail newsletter.  

September started and, like most of you, we went back to school.  Archie started back to Pre. School at The Sunflower House, I started back to school teaching dance and Dan started teaching guitar and Bible Study again.  We are back to our regular ministry and busy but loving it.

In addition to Pre. School we also home school Archie as they obviously do not teach English reading or writing and numbers.  He is learning both and it slows him down a bit but in the long run we think it will be really great for him to know both Spanish and English.  Even though we are supporting the school by purchasing cleaning supplies Archie still has gotten sick twice.  Although the sickness could have come from any place as he tags along with us on most of our ministry.  He deals with it all in stride and usually has a super happy disposition.

I am now teaching 10 classes a week not including the solo practices in prep for the Nutcracker.  My favorite by far is the classes at Door of Faith Orphanage.  They have so few people in their lives that are just there for them.  Everyone else is taking care of the running and constant needs of the orphanage.  It was really brought home to me this week just what these kids deal with.  I was asking where one girl was and it turned out she had been sent back to her abusive parents.  The other girls all looked sad.  Please pray that this above all classes I am able to make it to. I was sick this week and only able to do half a class.  We joked about disappointing the orphans but it is more than that. If I don’t come to class it seems to them just another person that has left and let them down.  They ask constantly if I am coming back on Friday and squeal with delight when they are told that I am.  I could no longer stand the sad sweet eyes of the little girls (ages 3-6) that stand in the doorway when their older sisters are taking dance and added my 10th class of the week.  I love that too and will be helped by the Siloe nurse intern Kaitlyn, she will be here until her husband gets back from overseas in February.  You may remember us talking about her in past newsletters.  Her Spanish is far better than mine and she is an incredible help.  The Nutcracker is being planned and Lisa from Oregon Coast Dance Center is graciously sending me a bunch of costumes and Traveling Tutus is also sending me a bunch of stuff.  I have ordered a few things myself.  This is going to be something the people of this tiny little town have never seen so I am super excited to bring the program to the community.

Dan is teaching 3 guitar classes, working with two older men helping with in home care, teaching Friday night Bible Study to the intern gals, playing with the worship band, teaching a few young men and doing street evangelism / music / homeless bags.  The intern Bible Study is going great.  The girls really appreciate the teaching and the home cooked meals. Thanks to all that prayed for the girls that needed us to come and be a part.  They are seeking us out for counsel and discipleship, words cannot express how much we enjoy this part of our ministry. One girl in particular has seemed to adopt us so to speak.  She is over here a lot on weekends and also for the Sunday night neighborhood fire pit cookout we host at our home.  That is a time for us to relax but also to just be part of people’s lives, saved and unsaved all find a welcome spot around the camp fire.

We are slowly getting some parts of Dan’s Evangelism class on video.  I really am overwhelmed by the enormity ofthe project, but we have started.  I take part in a ladies Bible Study on Tuesday nights and that started up again last week.  We had some horrible weather caused by a tropical storm a bit south of us that put us all on hold for about two days because of impassable roads.  Dan got stung by a Bark Scorpion.  About 48 hours of rest and he was better.  They can be very dangerous especially to kids so we are taking loads of precautions around the house now.  Trust me I have gotten every opinion and read every article I can on them and how to get rid of them.  My health continues to be a bit of a rollercoaster but the good days are more than the bad right now.  Dan got to work with a physical therapist from England for the two guys he cares for and that was very helpful.  We are still teaching at Casa De Luz the free day care in the next town over.

We went to LA this weekend to take Barbara Keller’s chair to her niece. Dan met and talked to different people here and there and spread the good news. Our neighbor is teaching us Spanish again, which is a huge blessing.  We have given ourselves a day off and so have been spending Saturday’s here and there exploring more of Mexico which has been really fun.  Daniel’s parents come for a visit in a few days and we are really looking forward to that.  We bought 4 chairs for the pre-school.  Some of the kids were sitting on folding lawn chairs and falling off of them all day long so we took care of that.  They still need about 6 more chairs but we can only buy so many with the budget we have. As always there are tons of little things we do to help out the ministries and people here and can only give you a few so  those were the highlights. 


Encouragement   Did you know that spreading the gospel is super easy for anyone and everyone?  We have included in this newsletter a gospel tract that we hope will encourage you to spread the gospel.  Consider giving it to someone or even just leaving it someplace where people might pick it up.  Park benches, break rooms, public restrooms, airports are all great spots to leave a gospel tract.  You never know who will pick one up.

Needs   We are working on costuming the kids for the Nutcracker.  If you would like to help to by doing some sewing or purchasing some very inexpensive costume pieces let us know and we will give you details on what is needed.

Prayers   As always we would love continued prayer for our health and safety as well as wisdom and courage.  October 31st at 11:00am we go to the San Diego Mexican Consulate for our 3rd try at getting our legal residency for Mexico.  Please pray this time it actually goes though and smoothly.  Coming up we have Dan’s parents visit. Prayer for travel mercies would be great.  Archie’s school teacher is hoping to go to school to become a certified teacher.  She has to raise about $600 a month in order to do that.  Please pray that people will be generous and she find supporters.  Our church does a mission’s trip to Sineloa Mexico twice a year.  They are very short of funds for their November trip so we ask for prayers that God sends the funds they need to make it happen.  


If you are interested in financially or in prayer partnering with Morning by Morning Ministries contact our treasurer at djc4225@gmail.com or 503-842-3999.  You can donate online with paypal and you can find the links on our Facebook and Blog page.  If you want to keep updated make sure you sign up for our  snail mail and e-mails newsletters, check us out on Facebook and don’t forget to read our weekly Wednesday blog at blogspot.com.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Misplaced Passion

By: Rachel Martin

Right now, everywhere I look, I see stuff about the presidential elections.  There is one side saying this and one side saying that.  I see people pointing fingers and laying blame.  I see one side saying they will fix this or that and the other saying that its nonsense.  I see it everywhere I look and I don’t even live in the US.  I am not here to say one side is right and one side is wrong but, I am pointing
out the all-consuming one track mind we have right now.  I am no better than anyone, I watch the debates, I care about where my homeland is headed and I am genuinely interested in the train wreck that is the 2017 presidential campaign.

What I am seeing though is this “we have something exciting to talk about and fight for” attitude.  People are taking hardcore stances for one candidate or the other or even some hardcore stances on none at all.  It’s all anyone can talk about.  What I find disturbing in all of this is how self-centered this is in the big picture of the world.  Did we forget that there is still homelessness, starving people, children in need of help, and stories of woe that would make this election look like a drop in the bucket?  I have them, ask me any time and I can tell you dozens of stories about the horror of real life that would make you weep.  Why are we not up in arms about these things?  Why is it, that all we can talk about and focus on is is the United States election? 

"Washing" machine in a
 third world country.
It appears to me that in our, do what we want, get what we want, unfulfilled lives we are hungering for something real.  This election makes us feel like we can make a difference and that there is something real going on when we already have something real going.  The truth is that there is not much we can do about this election nonsense but vote, but every day we can make a real difference in our world and we don’t.  I am not downplaying the election and its importance, but I am saying, where is this kind of support and talk and outrage at the real things going on in this world?  When I look at all the people that have supported people like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Facebook and can’t seem to once in a while re-post a blog or a newsletter or a prayer from us here in the mission field it grates on my nerves.  Not just for me but for my fellow missionaries that serve here and work in the trenches of a world that is in dire need of the gospel.  While America throws money, time, and energy on something that in the end “is the lesser of new evils” there are people all around the world and in your home town that dying.
Young girl spending time
at a orphanage.

Why can we so openly support or not support one candidate or the other and yet not do our Christian duty and support our missionaries?  Why do we sit on Facebook and post memes about being Christians and not get out and walk that walk that we talk.  America is looking for something, longing for something, and in need of a serious reality check.  If you think your life is rough it might be but just the fact that you are reading this blog on the internet means you are far wealthier than most people in the world at large.  A friend and fellow missionary said to me once after going back to the states for an extended period, “America is like Disneyland and Mexico is the real world”.  I love that statement and it very much applies here.  We are riding the latest ride in a never-ending Disneyland world where we have the latest entertainment in the form of a presidential election.

If we could just take a moment to really ponder what is going on in this world around us and what we can do as Christians to combat it I think you would see that posting Trump or Clinton’s latest gossip is paltry and sad.  Let us step out into the real world and make a difference.  It might be right around the corner where there is a soup kitchen or supporting a missionary or posting real stories on Facebook.  Whatever it is I would love if we could take our focus, our passion, our time and energy off of this election and put it where it belongs. In a world that we all know will eventually come to end our passion belongs in the lap of the God most high not on people that think they are.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Great High Priest.

Great High Priest.



Sometimes it feels as if God isn’t around or doesn’t care. Life can get really hard and you might feel alone. Take confidence. God understands our struggle. (Hebrews 4:14 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”) Sometimes with life’s temptations, hardships and struggle, you can feel like God doesn’t understand. Jesus had to face the same kind of life that we do. God asked Jesus to do things He didn’t want to do as well. (Luke 26: 39  Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”) God allowed Himself to go through the same hardship that we face. It was struggle of not getting real answers from the Father when he felt He needed them. Can you imagine facing the cross with real questions and getting no solid answers? I know many people who have faced problems and hardships in life that won’t ever have their questions answered on this side of heaven. Sometimes you are just left with having to reconcile the fact that God is good, in spite of how you feel. God understands, and only He really knows the reasons He allows things. He Himself submitted to the same struggle we all have in life. He does care and does love us. Like Job, you might face things in life that you don’t understand or feel have a purpose. Job never got to read job chapter one where God explains why things happen the way that they do. Job was just left with God saying in the end, that Job (in spite of all of the hardship in life) can trust God. I don’t think that God treats us very differently. I haven’t ever met a person that doesn’t know what struggle is. The good thing is that this isn’t it. Earth isn’t all there is, and there is a place of rest waiting for those who are Gods sheep. God’s sheep should trust the shepherd. He truly understands and does have a reason for things even though, until we see Him face to face, we might not know why that is this side of eternity. 

Daniel Martin.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Be of Good Cheer

By: Daniel Martin

It’s easy to get discouraged following the Lord, serving him and doing ministry. Most of the people in the Bible dealt with discouragement (1 Kings 9:19, Jeremiah 12:1, 2 Corinthians 12:21, Ruth 1:13, 2 Kings 19:3) even Jesus (John 11:35, Mark 6:4-6). It’s important to continue on and not lose heart. Discouragement usually happens if you are heading a good direction. You don’t see people who don’t care much about God or doing things for God getting discouraged much now do you. Lazy people don’t get discouraged, because they aren’t attempting anything. Sinful discouragement is petty.  It is based on not with not getting your way all of the time (kind of like Jonah in the last chapter of Jonah). It can even be mistaken as Godliness, but that is not what I am talking about in this blog.

 The devil loves to use discouragement to keep us from continuing on the right path. He is trying many times to keep us out of Gods plan, by making us feel as if there is no point continuing on. I have had so many times in my life, where I felt overwhelmed with frustration and discouragement. I worked so hard on something and fell a few feet short of the finish line and had to start the whole thing over again. I am so glad I am married, because I have someone who encourages me to keep going even though I feel like giving up. My wife is the largest blessing I have ever known, and often is an instrument of God to help me not grow weary and give up.

Sometimes God takes our great ideas and good heart, and completely takes us somewhere else with them than we expected to go. It can be discouraging to see how you thought things should end up, take a completely different turn. Sometimes it takes a few years to really get it, and be thankful for all of the things that transpired. If you were to be in my life to witness all of the things that I have done, you might chuckle a bit. I think I am well acquainted with really trying something, really meaning well, and really getting things wrong. 

With the way my mind works, I overkill most things and finish very few. Sometimes I want to do such a good job, and am so disappointed by what I am doing that I give up or change gears. It is almost always a mistake, because it probably just needs to be paired down a bit. Usually by the deadline I have something to offer but it is fragmented, unrefined and incomplete because I was second guessing the process. It has created allot of discouragement in my life and makes it difficult to make new attempts. Fortunately, that is my problem and not most people’s problem. 

Self-criticism is one of the benchmarks of discouragement. If you think you can do no good, you will do nothing. The Devil knows that. That is why he can keep so many people from doing something for Jesus in life. He can keep them in the lazy comfort zone because they don’t believe they can make a real difference anyway. We have to be wise in the things that we do, but if we do nothing; nothing good will happen either.  Edmund Burke famously said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  Take encouragement in the good you do, Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, in the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

               There are two important ingredient in a victorious outcome; hope, and perseverance. Hope that God will accomplish His good and reward us for our effort and also, the perseverance to keep going, in spite of the opposition.  (Hebrews 6:16 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.). Have you ever seen a tree growing through rocks? The roots were shooting down to find water from a small seed. Inch by inch through the years, it can split the rocks apart. Things can seem insurmountable, because for us they are. Yet, with a little faith, and perseverance, God makes the impossible possible. 

It is the story every missionary finds true, and every person or faith in the Bible. God gave them all problems that necessitate His miraculous hand. It is easy to blame God and lose faith in His goodness when things are really hard. I have to say that often if anything goes wrong, I am secretly blaming God for them in my heart. Later, (sometimes a long time later) I see the beautiful working hand of God who is directing my life. A generation of Israelites died in the desert because they failed to give God thanks in the hard times. We must remember that no matter how bad life gets, and how are plans seem to fail, the reason we know any goodness at all is because God is bringing those things about in the first place.


               In short, when life hits its dead ends, continue on for Jesus. Keep living a righteous life in spite of the frustration. Jesus promises that his reward is with Him (Revelation 22:12). This isn’t heaven, so things are bound to go sour from time to time. Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”   Mathew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” God goes with you when you step out for Him.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Current Issue

           By: Rachel and Daniel Martin

            Lately, I have reading a lot of things in the news about transgender people; specifically, their use of the opposite sex’s bathroom.  Personally, I don’t care who is in the bathroom next to me.  Yes, you read that right, I am perfectly fine if a man wants to use the bathroom stall next to me.  Goodness knows it has happened in my life more than once.  Without going into too much detail about my life and bathroom habits; I have never had a problem with going and using the men’s room, ladies room or a tree if necessary.  However I am sure that where people are using the restroom isn’t what is making everyone upset.  The hardship is taking away the public’s rights to have a specific gender (I.e. the one they were born with). It is giving special privileges to people who identify as transgender and taking away the rights of people who believe that gender isn’t something that is neutral and decidable. Let us put aside for just a moment the biggest argument that people have about this issue.  I think they are right and we need to be concerned about bad people using this as a loophole to spy on kids in the bathroom but that is not what this blog is about.

            We live in a world that is reaping the result of rejecting the Christian world view. The United States has seen some strange and awful trends through the centuries. In the past, the Bible was distorted to carry on a political agenda of sexism and racism. Today the Bible is rejected as a means to appease a chosen minority group. Not one based on racial distinction but rather sexual identity and religious preferences. Do I like it? Not really but it’s not my job to say who can do what in the world at large.  I think the bigger picture here is that the world is a tangled mess. People are so far gone from the truth in this generation that they feel the need to change their gender in order to have a sense of security and belonging. What we have here is people searching out anything and everything they can in order to feel complete, when what they need is the forgiveness and acceptance that can only come through Jesus Christ.

           Different sins are in vogue at different times through generations.  In the 60s and 70s it was drugs and free sex, in the 80s and 90s it was the love of self and things.  People always have and always will look for whatever sin they think will make them happy. We are currently reaping the result of accepting sinful things in culture as, “just the way people are.” It’s the only conclusion you can come to rejecting the Christian worldview because you end up with a world with no distinctions, rather than ones defined by the Bible. The transgender movement is so heartbreaking because we see people putting all of their value in their sexual identity.  Many people go so far as to make changes to their body.  Changes they can never take back, when what they are really seeking is the peace that only God can provide.  When they make these changes to their bodies, lives, personalities we know they will still be miserable because they do not know that, as C.S. Lewis puts it, “God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.  There is no such thing”.

          I found this info on a web site for transgender people.  Transgender, or Trans: means someone whose gender differs from the one they were given when they were born.  Transgender people may identify as male or female, or they may feel that neither label fits them.  In order to express their chosen gender, transgender people may transition, or change, from the gender they were given at birth.  They may change their names, pronouns or style of dress.  Some transgender people also choose a medical transition, with the help of medical specialists, who will prescribe hormones and/or surgery.

           Transgenderism is preceded by the belief that God is fallible and gives people the wrong gender.  I know that we all have moments of doubt and wonderings about God’s choices. To be transgender is to base your whole life on it.  They hope that by changing what they think God messed up, they will somehow be whole and happy.  There are many lost souls in this world.  Christ says the way is narrow and not all will pass though.  I think above all we need to be showing them the way to happiness is not through their “mistaken” gender but though Christ. 

            To start I think we need to be more real and open with our lives.  These people need to see that everyone’s life is hard and that there is no magic pill.  That through the difficulties of life we still have joy.  Happiness is fleeting but joy is lifelong.  How can others see that if we hide away or are not living with others saved and unsaved in an open manner?  Seeing our lives in action I think is incredibly important.  Jesus wasn’t picky.  He had all kinds of people around him with different thoughts and views. In the gospels we see Jesus with a hatred for sin, but a loving acceptance of all people. Everyone in life is sinful without Jesus. We all have different views that are a bit off of what God intends us to have. We as Christians need be able to accept people, regardless of anything they come with because they have been made in Gods image.

I am not saying we should accept the wrong things they do; but God knows that everyone who doesn’t turn to Jesus from there sins is in the same boat. We have done a lot of harm and lost a lot of the battle by acting as if somehow we deserved God’s grace more than anyone else.  Equally important is talking about Christ openly and the gospel.  We need to be befriending transgender people and allowing them to be touched by our lives and in so doing be learning about Christ. Can you imagine living with such frustration and confusion? We need to be instruments of compassion. Let us be living with them in a loving manner showing them what real compassion looks like. These people need to see that our identity is not in our gender it is in Christ.  That it is Christ that is the answer not one particular way of life.


We all have a tendency to put things before God.  If we are lucky we have Godly people in our lives to bring us back around.  If you think about it I am sure you can remember a time when you put something before God and He brought you back around and reminded you that He is what’s important and that it is Him that gives joy not things of the world. When we look back at that time don’t we all shudder and realize how miserable we were?  What if when these people were at the start of this process there had been someone there in their lives showing them what the love of Christ really is instead?   What if instead of passing judgment we showed people love and acceptance, and let it be known that it is Christ that give us this peace and love?  What if we quit blurring the lines with discussion of bathroom usage and just loved people as Christ did?  Can you be that person? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Do we Undervalue the Young?

By: Rachel Martin

I got into a conversation with a younger Christian women the other day and was encouraging her to use what I saw as a specific gift, for Christ. The conversation is way too long to explain but I will say she told me, others had told her that, what I saw as a gift was, a hindrance that she needed to deal with.  That conversation prompted me to re-read 1st Corinthians chapter 12.  If you have not read it please do.  It is a fantastic statement about how the church should work together.   The scripture and the conversation got me thinking.  Do we undervalue our youth? Unfortunately I think the answer is yes. 

My next step here is to ask myself, and you, some questions.  Do the young not have the same Holy Spirit we do?  Do they not grow and change and learn and have gifts to use as we do?  If the Church is a body and everyone in it has different gifts and uses should we not be encouraging the young to find out what part they are?  Should we not be accepting them where they are as a part of the body? When did we all decide that only old men or married women with kids had a place in the Church?  Does not the child of the married women or the grandson of the church elder have a place too?  Why does youth seem to equate to stupid in the minds of some?  Are we somehow less valid or less Godly or less worthy of trust? 

Now the word youth is subjective.  I am 40 so I am thinking about teens and 20s but I have too felt the effects of this at my age from older people in the church.  I have seen my peers passed up for positions because of our age.  Our ministry has been taken lightly because the majority of people on the board are in their 30s and 40s.  I understand the need for “elders” positions and for there to be older people involved.  How can we younger learn if we do not have older guides?  Godly people are a necessity for all of us no matter what the age, I am saying a 70 year old can get wisdom from an 85 year old.  Discipleship from older people never ends no matter what your age.    In Titus 2 we are told that older people should teach us how to live a Godly life and lead by example.  Walking with youth is a necessity to a growing Christian life.  The youth are full of life and energy and ready to go and do and we are not so much.  Let us disciple and lead and let them do their job whatever their gift may be. 

I think we need to value the Godly youth more.  It is hard to be bold for Christ in this day and age with everything the culture tells them is right and we all know is certainly not biblical.  I think we need to love the craziness of the young and encourage it while it lasts.  There will be a time when they get beaten down by the world and jaded and have a mortgage and kids and have to work on their marriages.  Let us prize our globe-trotting, whimsical, the world is good, youth while they are young and let them be themselves and do their part as the body of Christ.  Youth thrive on input and change and real honest emotional contact.  We should be encouraging that not tampering it down.

Let us look at some of the people that all would agree are Godly men and women.  Martin Luther was 34 when he did his 95 thesis.  Elizabeth Elliot of the “Through Gates of Splendor” fame was 32 when she left to take over her husband’s work after her husband was killed by the same people she went to serve. Dietrich Bonheoffer wrote his first book at 21 and was dead by 39. Margaret Nicholl Laird famous missionary to Africa and author of “They Called Me Mama” (a great read if you have a chance) went to serve on her own in Africa at 25.  My final offering, Jesus was in his early 30s when He started His ministry.  It is just speculation here but I might suggest that apostles were more than likely young men too.   They were fishermen, and people able to pick up and go and live a life on the road.  Not an older men’s job by any means.  


Yes there is scripture about the young being stupid.  We make mistakes, that is part of growing up and getting ready to disciple the next group of youth.  However I want to leave you with this.  In first Timothy 4:12 Paul writes to Timothy who as a leader in the church and says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity”.  That is what I am saying here.  Older people let us lift up, love, encourage, and support our youth and youth don’t let anyone discount you because of your age.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Kids

By: Rachel Martin

All-righty.  You jumped those man / women / marriage hurdles I wrote about in the last few blogs.  What is the next natural step?  For those that choose it, it would generally be kids so that is the focus of this blog today.  Now again, not an expert but here is my background for those that don't know me.  I have one son, but many years’ experience teaching and mentoring kids.  I have had loads of opportunity to look around at the kids in my classes and figure out which children are the most mentally healthy, happy, and which ones make it to adulthood sane and with a good relationship with their parents.

               My mother says “I raised all my kids the same and they all turned out different and amazing in different ways”.  That is both true and not, well the amazing part is true for all of us, but I digress.  She did raise us all under the same roof with the same principles and structure.  My mother however is nothing if not creative.  I think good parenting takes an understanding that all your kids are different and what works for one does not work for the others.  I know this should go without saying yet here I am saying it.  I see many parents treating their children (particularly adoptive kids) as if they all had the same needs and makeup.  I have found that the kids that seem the happiest are kids that have parents that understand that what is good for the goose is actually not good for the gander.  Punishment needed, work load, learning styles, style of dress, likes and dislikes, skills, just about everything is going to be vastly different in each child.  It is so important to understand your kid and work with who they are, rather than to fight against it.  Some of the most messed up adults I know are people who had parents who didn’t get that.

               Speaking of fighting with your kids, lol, I find the kids that are the most confident are kids that have boundaries that parents actually stick to.  As I said I am no expert but when I start getting wishy washy with the boundaries I have set out for my son (or my students for that matter) he gets confused and upset.  It always becomes a mess when I get lackadaisical with boundaries. It is not my intention to start a conversation about spanking vs time outs. I say whatever works use it just make sure you use it and it is effective.  I have also heard it said that if you do this job well when they are young you should not have to be spanking after the age of 4, well at least not that often, and I find that to be true.  I see the kids that are most well behaved when young and had very clear boundaries drawn with serious repercussions that they wanted to avoid.

               I also find the kids that make it best into adulthood had parents that made Christ’s love the center of their parenting.  Talking about the gospel while in the car going to school, using scripture for why they should not hit their friends with a toy, saying grace, simple stuff that goes on every day can be a way to show your kids Christ’s love.  Backing punishment with scripture and saying things like “I don’t like to discipline you and here is where you went wrong and here is what scripture says” I find is fairly important.  I often get flustered and end up saying “the Bible says children obey your parents and you didn’t obey”.  You don’t’ have to be a Bible scholar to do this at all.  Then at least you kids will know that you put Christ first and you are sure of what you believe.  When kids are very little they don’t’ understand a lot of things and certainly not salvation.  Every moment is a teaching moment but boundaries are the perfect place.  I think it is so often overlooked.  The parents I see doing the best job see all times but also punishment as a time to teach children about the heartbreak of sin and why forgiveness is so important.

               Speaking for forgiveness I think it is crucial.  In our family we do forgiveness.  Our life is never about whom did it right and who was wrong.  It is about the heart and forgiveness.  I have often found myself asking for forgiveness from my son.  I can snap like anyone and am not perfect and need forgiveness too.  I think kids need to know that, they need to see you are a sinner at times too and also need forgiveness found only in Christ.  The kids I see with the best adult relationships with their parents have parents that don’t think they are always right and rule with an iron fist.  That makes kids obey out of fear rather then obedience because of love of Christ and each other.  Obedience by fear works in the short run but in the end they get to be teens and adults and see no need to "behave" anymore.  Obedience in the long term is always about respect, forgiveness, and love with Christ at the center. 

The most well rounded young adults I know understand the forgiveness, love, boundaries, salvation, and how to walk into adulthood with the tools their parents supplied them.  As an added plus just something I love that my parents did for all of us kids.  They allowed others to step into our lives or take over where they might be lacking.  Adults and older kids in your child’s life are not everything but I think important.  They allowed other people access to us and allowed others to have input into who we are today.  We walked closely with others and they allowed us to see the mistakes and joys of others lives.  I think my siblings and I are all fairly well rounded in part because of that.  We can talk to the homeless on the street or the president at the white house because they sought out people for ours and their lives that would have a good input.  That is just a piece not a necessity but I like who I am in part because my parents allowed us to see all walks of life, didn't sugar coat it, and allowed a long list of interesting people to be a part of our life.  I wish I had time to list out all the interesting odd people that my parents allowed to put into my life that made a difference. I know a lot of parents that shelter their kids form that kind of input and their kids are not the better for it.  

               Now let us say we are doing our best at that and even though we fail often we do what we can and our kids are doing OK.  What about the brass tacks of raising a kid?  How do you get them from point A to point 18 intact to be productive members of society?  My older friend who is now passed away was a wiz with kids and helped us come up with a list.  I think it is the one most important things she left us with.  We started by making a list of 12 qualities we wanted our son to have.  We refer to our list every couple of months to check in with ourselves and see how we are doing.  I find it really helpful to be reminded of the qualities we want to instill in our little guy.  Next we listed out by age what we should be working on in order to make him not just a productive member of society but someone that can thrive.  If you are really interested message me and I will send it to you.  We have found it so extremely valuable but it is too long to share in this blog and still keep things short.

     I know I make this sound like a cake walk.  I know from experience it is not.  It is hard and messy (literally and figuratively) and a lifetime of worry and what ifs.  However everything I have talked about is in the Bible and as I always say God wrote the Bible not as a set of do this or don’t do that or else.  Giving your child boundaries is a mirror of this.  I tell my son and students not in so many words.  This is how I have set up this class or our home for your enjoyment and happiness this is how you must behave.  Work inside these rules and there will be harmony, and there always is when they do.   Does God not do the same in our own lives?  Romans 12:4&5 let us know that there are many members in the body of Christ.  Raising your children all according to their separate needs is an example of this.  If you are not in tune to the differences in your children then you are raising a bunch of arms when what you need for flourishing in your family is arms legs, and a head. Mathew 7:24 tells us that a wise man builds his house upon a rock.  Having Christ at the center of your family is the only way to have a rock built house.  Ephesian 6:4 tells us not to provoke our children but to nurture them.  Asking for forgiveness and letting them know your weaknesses is part of that. I think that this is more than just don’t be mean to your kids.  Ruling as a tyrant and always having to be right it just as bad provoking them to anger.  

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it when he is old.  The key word here is “train”.  All the things I have talked about are training.  Not just one component like boundaries, it is multiple components that make up the whole.  It is a hard job and I am not saying it is a walk in the park.  It is hard and it takes a ton of time and work.  There are many days I go to be feeling like I failed my son.  We do our best to adhere to scripture and work hard for the hearts and souls of our kids.  That is all I am really saying.  Work at it and don’t leave it to chance.  I recently heard a sermon where the pastor said "you are are already discipling your child, the question is what are you discipling them in"?  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

September Newsletter


Hola!
               Here we are at the start of another school year and we are very much looking forward to getting started!

Dan and Archie on a walk in the desert 
it was 120 that day.
 Last month I finished up my dance classes at Open Arms (the free local daycare).  It was fun but I was also glad for it to be over.   At times it can be difficult when kids are made to come to class who don’t want to be there.  That was the case at Open Arms. I did manage to forge good relations with a few girls. They were delightful which made for a slightly easier class then it could have been.  Dan continued guitar classes in our home while the skill center was closed.  Dan also has been discipling two men.  It is not his area of expertise but as God calls so He equips and we so appreciate your prayers.  It has been going really well and Dan has been enjoying his time with the guys.  We went to Kaitlyn’s wedding (our good friend from intern bible study) which was beautiful.  Kaitlyn and her husband both love the Lord which made the wedding even more beautiful.  If you think about it pray for them he deploys to the Middle East in 2 weeks for 7 months.  We also had a nice little break at that time and came back refreshed.  Dan got to use his evangelism and C.N.A skills while on the trip.  He got into a few conversations about the Gospel. As always it was a joy for me to watch.  I also got to see and disciple a few gals on the way there which I love to do.

We stayed in a little studio apartment behind a women’s home while on vacation (airbnb).  Her husband has dementia and Parkinson’s. One night she came knocking on our door frantically.  Her husband had fallen out of his wheel chair and she could not help him back in.  I told her “you have come to the right place!”  Dan went in and after about 10 minutes I wondered what had happened to him.  That lasted all about 5 seconds until I remember I am married to an evangelist lol.  Her pictures on the AirBnB web site were not very good so I also photographed the place for her.  She was really happy to get the pictures I sent.  God is good and gave us many opportunities on our trip.  It was also a great time to come together as a family and just be without work or ministry.  We got some clarity, stepped out, and took a good look at our upcoming year, which was very encouraging.

Archie's first day of school. That 
suburban in the background is the bus. 
We have to meet the bus in the center 
of town about a mile from home.
Archie started pre-school at the on Monday at the Sunflower House.  For those that might not remember the school is a free Christian school that teaches English to the children.  They are glad to have Archie back again, as well as my help.  He goes three days a week and I go with him on Friday’s to help teach.  In addition to helping at the school physically; we are also helping out by purchasing cleaning supplies, paper towels (for kids to dry their hands on after washing) and thieves oil hand soap for the school.  I will also be teaching dance to the pre-school kids in the morning as well as the older kids (Ages 5 to 8) that come in the afternoon after school for the afternoon program on Friday’s.

               Archie’s school is held at the local skill center, “Casa De Maria”, it is also run by a Christian missionary.  This is where Dan will be holding his guitar classes once again.  We held them at our home over the summer but are glad to have them back at the school because of its central location for all the students.  Dan was given a key this year so thing should go much smoother as he proceeds. He has 4 regular students and a few new ones waiting to get started.  I have been listening to the kids learn over the summer and it has been really fun to hear their progress.  In addition to guitar classes at Casa De Maria, Dan will also continue to teach guitar at Casa De Luz (Primo Tapia Free day care) and randomly to those that ask from around the area.

               Dance classes start up full time next week.  I teach twice at Casa De Luz on Tuesday. I have four classes plus solos for the Nutcracker at the church here in La Mision, which was my regular schedule last year.  This fall into winter I have added two classes at the pre-school and one class at Door of Faith orphanage. That rounds it out to about 10 hours of dance a week which is just perfect for me.  That is about half of the amount I use to teach. With everything else we have going on its more than enough time. I plan on producing a very simple Nutcracker show this year with all the dancers.  I am really excited about this.  Most people here in our little town have no idea what a Ballet is and I am super excited to bring culture to our community this way. 
Dan's guitar class at our home this summer.

Dan has also picked up another “client”.  Working again with Siloe Clinic they have asked him to help out another man in a wheel chair.  We don’t’ know much about him and Dan goes to help him on Thursday for his first time.  Carlos is doing well and really happy to have the new powered wheel chair.  Check out Facebook for pictures of that.  We also scheduled in Friday, day time, for Dan to spend time out and about playing music in the surrounding cities.  Using music as a tool to reach people for the gospel has always been a part of what we do, but we felt as it is Dan’s first love he should get back to more of it.  He is really looking forward to getting out there and spending more time talking one on one with the lost.  Friday’s mid-September will also start Intern Bible Study again.  We have missed this time and can’t wait to get started again.

This is a picture of  the apartmentbuilding where we live. 
The bottom right hand side behind the garbage can
and bushes is our apartment.
Prayers:  I have to stop taking the allergy medication Zyrtec.  I have tried once and not been able to.  I really need to because of the side effects I am having but the withdrawal symptoms are so incredibly bad that it is going to be very difficult.  I seem to be having a semi rare reaction to coming off of it. I appreciate prayers as I come off of this medication.  Please pray that God will work in the hearts of those that need to be a part of our Bible Study group.  It is such a good program for the interns and we know if they come they will be blessed and grow.  We invited two girls from Dan’s guitar class.  They are American’s and possibly unsaved so prayers for them and them being a part of this class is greatly appreciated. Please pray for our health as we go back to school.  Arch and I pick up anything and everything in the way of colds and it can be very hard on all of us.  Please pray for Dan as he steps out again onto the streets for safety, as he works on Bible Study classes for wisdom, and as he teaches and cares for the Carlos and this new gentleman for strength and peace of mind.  Please pray for me in figuring out how to costume all the dancers for the Nutcracker.  I thought I did the Nutcracker on a shoestring budget before!  No one here has any money for costumes so it is up to me to figure out how to costume everyone and purchase as little as possible.


Thanks to all who read and support and pray and give.  We are so blessed to be here!


The Martins

"I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God.  Music drives away the Devil and makes people gay; they forget thereby all wrath , unchastity, arrogance, and the like.  Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor" - Martin Luther


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