Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Testing Time

In the day to day intricacies of life, I am finding the Lord sanctifying me. Whether it is sitting in rush hour traffic, standing in long lines, bumping my 'funny bone,' or through relationships. These are all tests, some come in the form of pop-quizzes (like bumping my 'funny bone'), but neveretheless, one thing God is after is the revelation of my character and His work of sanctification in me. Sometimes I pass the tests, and other times I don't.

Now, just what is progressive sanctification?

Progressive sanctification involves human responsiveness to God's Word and the work of the Holy Spirit.

You see, we have a choice to either ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit or to submit ourselves to it. I believe we serve a God who is in constant pursuit of our hearts in order to grow us toward Christ-likeness. Therefore, He continues to bring along tests or pop-quizzes to reveal to us the areas in which we have not been responsive to God's Word or work of the Holy Spirit.

All day God has been speaking to me in regards to an area where He is desiring to sanctify me. I finally just looked up and said, "Yes, Lord. I will allow you room to do your work." I am encouraged because I realize that God's work of sanctification is ultimately for my eternal glorification. He is preparing me in everything for eternity...even my character! Praise God!

I pray that you too would be encouraged as you experience those testing times from God.

"But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Plan B Not A Good One

I do not pretend to know all of the scientific details of the highly controversial drug Plan B, aka "the morning after pill," but I think the FDA has made a mistake today by making this drug available over-the-counter to girls as young as 18. I mean think about...if an 18 year old girl is not responsible enough to legally drink an alcoholic beverage, why is she responsible enough to take Plan B?

I teach high school and I am exposed to young girls and boys. I've had many conversations with youth regarding sex and unwanted pregnancies. And for the most part, sex is viewed as casual to them. I believe the approval of making this drug will send the wrong message not only to youth, but to everyone. I believe we are perpetuating the problem here. Check out this press release from the organization Concerned Women for America.

The problem does not lie solely in taking the emergency contraception, but why one is needing emergency contraception in the first place?

My fear is that women will begin to abuse this drug and use it as a form of abortion due to making a poor decision. Again, I'm not so much concerned with the actual taking of the drug as I am the reasons why people get themselves into "emergency contraception" scenarios. In saying that I do not want to appear judgmental or demeaning. We all have made poor decisions in life, and much of life consists of learning from our poor choices. All I am saying is that the debate is a much deeper one. There are enormous implications for a society which sells "the morning after pill" over-the-counter. And there are enormous implications for the Church and how to do ministry within this context. We must search answers to this debate through God's Word.

I type this with a humble prayer that I am never in a situation where I feel as if I need to resort to a "Plan B." Of course, we know as Christians there are no plan B's with God. His Providence and Sovereignty are always at work-even in a situation with someone who thinks they need a "plan B".

It is a complicated issue, but one we as Christians need to engage ourselves in, striving to see it in a spiritual perspective.

Friday, August 04, 2006

God's Curriculum on Faith

This summer I took an Old Testament History class and my professor would repeat a saying to us in helping us understand the faithfulness of God tothe Israelites throughout history:

"What God has done in the past is a picture of what He will do in the future."

Dozens of times God proved to be all His children needed, and that He would fight their battles for them. All they had to do was look back and remember His faithfulness of yesterday in order to trust Him for tomorrow.

It was only a week ago I laid in my bed worrying and wondering,

"How will I pay for fall tuition?"

I became anxious at the thought of my outstanding balance. However, the Holy Spirit prompted me to remember how God provided in the past and to trust Him for the future. His mercies never fail...they are new every morning--Great is Thy Faithfulness! (Lamentations 3:23)

Only two days ago I found a posting on the DTS job board for a part-time Spanish teaching position. It fit my schedule perfectly, is close to my house, and would be great experience for me considering I'm studying Christian Education. I immediately inquired, filled out an application, and scheduled an interview for today.

Giving all praises and glory to God from whom all blessings flow...He provided-again!! This was an answer to my prayers! I will be teaching at Plano Christian Academy! I am very excited about this opportunity to teach within a Christian context. I am an experienced teacher, but now I will have to polish and refine my philosophy of teaching Spanish beginning and ending with God...and to the glory of God!

Maybe you can help me out?

How do you suppose one should teach Spanish within a Christian context?

What things should I include in my instruction that will bring God glory?

How do Christ and the Bible stay in the center of a philosophy of teaching Spanish?

Post some comments & help me out!! I would love to hear from you. Also, I would like to encourage and repeat to you what I heard repeated numerous times in class this summer:

"What God has done in the past is a picture of what He will do in the future."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Viva el South Padre!

I'm back from South Padre Island, Texas! My friend Natasha and I had a wonderful time getting away from the busyness of day to day life here in Dallas. The weather the first day was incredible: 84 degrees! We immediately put our bags down, put our bathing suits on, and headed for the beach. There was a persistent breeze off the ocean and for a while we just laid there amazed by the breeze. Living in Dallas we have not felt the wind blowing in a while! It was a great treat...thank you, Lord!

Natasha and I made a quick observation upon arriving on the island: Se habla mucho espanol en Padre!
Translation: Spanish is spoken a lot in Padre!

South Padre lies at the southernmost tip of Texas about 10-15 miles from Mexico, so many of the Mexican nationals go to Padre to vacation. Good thing God has given me the gift of speaking in Spanish, because there were many times where it came in handy!

Everything there had a Spanish flare. Natasha and I caught the Latin fever! In fact, the first night we went to a popular spot called Louie's Backyard where we danced (gasp!!!) the night away to Salsay y Merengue, and the latest Latin music called Regaton (a mixture of salsa and reggae). Latinos sure do know how to throw a party! It was great fun and offered us an opportunity to be emmursed into a different culture than our own.

Another fun highlight of our trip was dolphin watching. We got on a double-decker boat and went out in the ocean to watch the dolphins. The water was a beautiful sea-green color and we were fortunate to see several dolphins and some baby dolphins too! However, I started to feel quesy from the boat ride so I had to sit down and concentrate on NOT throwing up! I don't think a cruise would be my cup of tea either.

We spent our last day entirely on the beach. We ate lunch, slept, talked, slept, and ate. It was nice to take a nap. I do not take naps often, so it was a beautiful thing! Although I got sun burned...I should have fallen asleep under the umbrella instead of the sun! Now my sunburn has turned to a nice golden tan...I look 100% Latina now! (I think that was my goal! Remember I have Latin fever right now!)

Natasha and I were sad to leave, but as they say, "All good things must come to an end." Of course, the trip would not be as memorable without Continental Airlines losing my suitcase! Yep, that's right! I got to Dallas and no maleta! Big ups to Continental though because they were able to trace my suitcase (it was in H-town) and deliver it to my doorstep at 4 a.m.! As one friend reminded me, "Better late than never!" Thank you, Jesus!

So, now it's back to reality. No more ocean, no more cool breeze, no more dolphins, and no more naps (well, on the beach anyway)! That's ok, I suppose.

Hay mucho trabajo aqui en Dallas!! (There is much work to do here in Dallas!)