One of the many benefits of living in the Philippines are the guys who come around to sharpen knives or fix fans. No needing to drive somewhere to find a shop.
Yesterday, the knife sharpener was on our street.
I asked him to sharpen our kitchen knives and our bolo.
He saw that the handle of our bolo was not good (it slipped off easily - not good when swinging it back to cut a shrub or something!)
he fashioned a new handle for us out of two empty 1-liter toyu (soy sauce) bottles that were made of heavier plastic than pop bottles.
He used one of the bottles as the core of the handle; melting the plastic over the flame of our propane burners and molding it onto the bolo knife blade.
Cutting the plastic melted onto the knife blade
Shaping the handle over the heat of flame
Cooling the handle in water
The finished product!
And isn't that what Jesus does to us? Puts us in the flame of trials to melt us into Him image; to shape us into His likeness! Refiner's fire!
Malachi 3 For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.
Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,...
1 Peter 1
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
A good friend, Bebe, asked me to share at a Bible Study she holds on Sunday afternoons for a group of women who are new Christians in a poor area near her house.
We were not in this community yesterday, but one like it.
Our camara is not working so I was unable to get pictures
Mikayla and I went yesterday to do that and came back far more blessed than we gave. We both feel like the sense of community, family and friend relationship closeness, the joy, the honesty experienced there is what the church family is intended to be. These women, not rich materially, are rich in the blessings of God - trust, joy....
as long as there is rice in the home there is enough.
Isn't God calling each of us to that? As long as our eyes are on Him, trusting Him, it is enough.
I shared with the ladies how much God loves each of us. I based the devotional of Psalm 139: 1 - 18 and Romans 8: 35 - 39
1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand-- when I awake, I am still with you.
Romans 8 "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerorsthrough him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger
or sword? 36 As it is written:
Kurt is heading to the USA today for meetings at the JAARs center in Waxhaw, NC. He will then spend 9 days in Michigan visiting family, friends and a couple supporting churches.
Pray for him - for safe travels, for good meetings, for contacting supporters and working on raising our support base, etc.
Pray for us while he's gone. The kids especially miss their Daddy while he is on trips.
Sometimes in life, the hurdles can seem to high
God's word encourages us to keep on pressing on despite obstacles and trials....He is right there with us!
1 Cor. 9: 23-27
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 stric 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.
Philippians 2: 13 - 17
...for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine
among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to
the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day
of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering
on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am
glad and rejoice with all of you.
Hebrews 12: 1 - 3 And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud
of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the
sin that so easily entangles.
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.