Anonther Hero of the Faith Called Home

The man who’s verse for life was Galatians 6:14, about not boasting except in the cross of Christ, has been called home.  Imagine what a welcome party there is in heaven!

As a teenager in Peru, in 1962, I met this man. I even have a photograph of him and my dad sharing some thoughts. This hero is Billy Graham.

Short of two month ago my personal hero of the faith finished his journey. In a week it will be two month since my dad left this earth. Ten and a half years ago my dear husband went to be with Jesus. The men I admired are not here anymore.

Who will pick up the mantle? That’s the question I had when finding the news on my Facebook page. And my thoughts went to Elijah and Elisha, two great prophets of God.

When Elijah sensed that it was his time to go, he said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.”

Elisha had seen the hand of God on this man and there was only one thing he wished for, so he said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.”

He had asked for a hard thing, but if he saw Elijah being taken from him, it would come to pass. So, as they still went on and talked, “chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”

Then Elisha took up the cloak  that had fallen of Elijah. His question was, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” Then he did the same thing that Elijah had done, he struck the water at the bank of Jordan, and the water was parted, and Elisha went over.

The same God that was with the prophets of old, the God that was with the hundreds of millions that have gone before us, the same God is with us. His arm is not shortened.

“The Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear.” Isaiah 59:1

Elisha got his “double portion.” Read 2 Kings the beginning chapters and see some of the miracles performed by him. Even after his death there was a miracle.

Read it here: 2 Kings 13:20.

Billy Graham was called “God’s Ambassador.” He was a good and faithful ambassador. He wanted to be remembered as a faithful servant. Jesus has probably already taken his hand, welcoming him with the words, “You good and faithful servant.”

I have appointments to keep, or I would go on and on. Let me just mention some of the heroes of the faith, who have gone before. Others have picked up their mantles. I want to be one of those picking up Billy Graham’s mantle of bringing the Gospel to the world. You also can pick up the mantle!

  • The Apostle Paul, the missionary of all ages
  • Martin Luther, the reformator
  • William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions
  • William Tyndale, one of the many Bible translators
  • D.L. Moody, preacher and soul-winner
  • Amy Charmichael, who poured out her life for needy girls and boys in India
  • Kathryn Kulhman, a remarkable God’s servant

The list would go on, and on… but I have to keep my appointments.

Let’s pick up Billy Graham’s mantle and bring the love of Jesus to the world!

 

 

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Rooted and Grounded in Love

Yesterday I was going over time and again the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, that they would be rooted and grounded in love.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory

  • he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
  •  so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith—that you,
  •  being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to
  •  comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
  •  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
  •  that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

When we are rooted and grounded in love, our life will display the fruit of the Spirit and the qualities of Christian living, all to the glory of God (see Colossians 3:12-15).

Listening to a broadcast with Beth Moore in the evening, she elaborated on this theme, speaking of the importance of the soil in which the tree is planted. It has to be soft, so that the roots can penetrate and grow.

My assistant Cristina has made a tree to show the fruit you will display when you are rooted and grounded in love. I will include here all the different components. You can find the instructions for this tree in MX1414.wordpress.com/A Tree of Love

This morning I received a very important call from one of the teachers that receives my teaching materials. To protect her privacy I will not mention the country or any detailed information. But a brief recount of our more than one-hour call may help someone.

I will call her Maria.

Maria was sad because the relation with her husband is deteriorating. They have talked about splitting up, and have even made a plan about what to do with the children. This was a very sad notice for me, and  I felt especially sad for the children. Any rupture in a marriage has very sad consequences.

My responsibility was to give her godly council. What should Maria do? Go ahead with the splitting? In no way, shape or form! I had the inspiration to tell Maria that she should start treating her husband as if he were Jesus. If Jesus walked in his shoes, how would she treat him? Of course, the first step was to swallow her pride!

I reminded Maria about how Jesus humbled himself, and was obedient to go to the cross. We are instructed to have the same mindset. When I was a young wife I also went through some rocky times. I attended a women’s Bible study where we learned to silently treat our husband as a king. We were not supposed to talk about anything we learned, just put it to practice! It worked. Kindness always works!

As we went on talking I told Maria about the Tree of Love, about being rooted and grounded in love. It’s one of the teaching aids I have on my home page, so she knew about it. Maria is going to print a big copy and put it on the wall, just like I have a copy on my wall. It is a sure reminder of what our lives should be, a tree full of the fruit of the Spirit.

After the long conversation with Maria she already had ideas in her head of what she is going to do. She and I are the kind of people who get bombarded with ideas!

Maria’s husband has not yet committed his life to Christ. Maria will show in action what the love of Christ looks like. She is probably in for a roller coaster ride. I warned her it might not be easy, but I am positive that there will be good results. God is a repairer and healer. He is not a destroyer but a restorer. He wants to mend what is broken.

Maybe if you have something going on in your life that is difficult and upsetting, try the approach of acting like Jesus would. How would he handle the situation? You might have seen the bracelet with WWJD. What Would Jesus Do? Ask him! I do it all the time. I have some things I’m debating about, and I ask him daily what he would do.

This is my greeting for the day. I hope you can take away something useful. Whoever it is that rubs you the wrong way, think about how you would treat the person if she was Jesus. Be rooted and grounded in love!

I’m excited about following Maria, to see the healing God will bring in her marriage. When we finished the phone call she sounded like a different person and she was ready to start practicing some new ideas that had popped in her head. When her husband comes home tonight, I know someone who is going to greet him with a smile. Who knows? Maybe he’ll get his favorite dinner!

Use this tree as a visual reminder of the fruit that God wants to reproduce in the lives of his children. Print the tree and put it in a strategic place in your home or classroom. Use it to teach about love. The deeper you are rooted in God’s love, the stronger and healthier your life will be.

Instructions:   tree-of-love-instructions

Choose from this different options:

If you use this in the Autumn, the leaves can be colored in beautiful fall colors.

Tree of Love   love-tree-1-pag-a-co    love-tree-1-pag-b-co

Tree of Love for coloring   love-tree-1a-bw    love-tree-1b-bw

Big tree of love   love-tree-big-co

Glue both pages together to make a big poster.

Big tree of love for coloring   love-tree-big-bw

Two trees per sheet   love-tree-2-pag-co

Two trees per sheet for coloring    love-tree-2-bw

Bookmarks  love-tree-bookmarks-co

Bookmarks for coloring    love-tree-bookmarks

Here is a blank tree. Children can fill in words themselves about love and acting lovingly. They can draw pictures in the leaves instead of writing words. The tree can also be used as an attendance booster. A child will color a leaf for each time she comes to class.

Blank tree    love-tree-blank    love-tree-big-blank

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Love Walked Among Them

It’s Valentine’s Day! In Spanish they call it the Love and Friendship Day. True to my “Spanish” heritage (although I’m Swedish) I was thinking this morning about friends I’ve had over the years, and how friends come and go.

I made a list in my Prayer Journal and offered a prayer for each one, most of them far away. Then I started thinking about my Best Friend, about how awesome it must have been to walk with him, all those 2000 years ago. I thought of Mary Magdalene. How she must have loved Jesus! I though of Susanna, Joanna, the other Mary’s, Martha… the list goes on. LOVE walked among them! God is love, so walking with the Son of God is walking with Love!

Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. Luke 8:1-3 ESV

I picture myself with Jesus, strolling down the shores of Galilee, walking on the dusty roads of Judea, visiting the Temple in Jerusalem. Mary, Susanna, Joanna, and many others provided for Jesus “out of their means.” What a privilege!

I can only picture myself with the “flesh and blood” Jesus. I can only walk with him in my imagination. But I have Jesus with me every minute of the day. He lives with me and in me. My life is his. My house is his. My time is his. Everything is dedicated to him. He’s my Savior. He deserves everything!

How I wish I could be with him in person.

  • Enoch of old walked with God.
  • Abraham was God’s friend.
  • The disciples were Jesus’ friends.
  • David was a man after God’s own heart.
  • Noah pleased the Lord.
  • Moses talked to God face to face.
  • John had visions of Jesus.

LOVE walked among them.

James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon grew up with Jesus. He was their big brother! Jesus also had sisters. Mary and Joseph parented the Son of God. Awesome thought!

Today, when the world celebrates love, you can have the Author of Love with you and in you. Yes, Jesus walked among them 2000 years ago. But if you accept the Creator and Savior as your personal Savior, your Lord and Master, LOVE will walk with you!

Just a thought, wishing you a blessed and lovely day!

 

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Paying it Forward

I remember many years ago when I first heard the concept of paying it forward. I was reminded of it today as I was thinking of asking a pastor in Peru for a love offering… let me start at the beginning.

A few weeks ago I received an invitation from pastor Abel in Cajamarca, Peru to come for a Vacation Bible School (VBS). It’s not possible for me to travel on short notice, and especially if I don’t know the conditions, due to my handicap in walking. But my assistant Cristina could go, and her father would love to go and teach a group of children.

Cristina contacted pastor Abel and found out that it was an 18-hour trip from Lima by bus and then walking in mountainous terrain. This would not be possible for her father, especially since he has problems with his knees. We thought that maybe they could go by plane, but who would pay the tickets?

It would also be like a two-week break from work for Cristina, not very appropriate since we are in the middle of a series about God’s servant Moses. Children are expecting their weekly story!

Sorry to say we could not accept the invitation, but maybe we could help them with teaching tools. Cristina talked with pastor Abel and after some discussion it was decided that they would use the stories of Queen Esther.

Last weekend Cristina devoted to preparing the stories and activities for them. She had to buy ink for the printer, which was a task in itself. To venture out in the heavy traffic of Lima is quite a story, and to find ink that is not altered is another story. She did it and took copies of most of the things we offer.

Check out about Queen Esther here: La reina Ester

It’s in Spanish but it can give you an idea of all the components we offer.

Here is a picture from a VBS that Cristina’s parents had a couple of years ago.

My granddaughter Sarah (younger version) showing one of the big characters. On the picture from the VBS you can see that all the children made Queen Esther.

Now we come to “paying it forward.” Last month, the pastor’s wife from the church where they had the VBS sent me an offering of 500 nuevos soles, which is about 150 dollars. It was very exciting for me, because I’m not used to receiving offerings. Once before I received an offering from a Sunday school in Mexico. I’m doing all my service for free. Like the offerings and sacrifices the people of Israel presented, I want it to be a “pleasant aroma” to my Lord. But I should probably start thinking about setting up an account for those who want to help with the expenses.

This offering was sent to Cristina’s account and I discounted it from her paycheck last month. I felt like helping pastor Abel would be like paying it forward. I also thought of asking him and the church for a love-offering. We “talked” on Messenger this morning and that’s when I felt in my heart to write him about this concept. So, I asked him to help a needy family in my name, and to ask that family to do something for somebody else. That’s what paying it forward is… it’s a beautiful chain reaction of kind acts.

I spent 50 dollars in supplying materials for this church in northern Peru. They will have to make photocopies of the activity pages for the children.

The lessons and activities that Cristina sent to pastor Abel.

During the coming week pastor Abel and his wife Flor, together with two teachers, Daila and Lilian, will travel to a nearby village to hold the VBS. They will be leaving their children in Bambamarca, I suppose with some trustworthy relatives. Please pray for them and for the children that will be attending the VBS all next week.

Paying it forward… While writing this, Sarah and her brother David came to stay with me for a while. She had never heard the concept, so I had the chance to explain. Isn’t it something beautiful? Pastor Abel will now have the opportunity to practice it and make the people at his church aware of what it means to pay forward.

I do an act of kindness… instead of accepting a remuneration for it, I ask you to do something kind for someone else… you do an act of kindness and ask the person to pay it forward… this pattern continues and becomes a chain reaction of kindness…

This is what I wanted to write about today.

Paying it forward is an awesome concept!

 

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God’s Amazing Presence

I’m working on stories from Exodus. It’s imaginary, about a boy and a girl and the adventures they have as they leave Egypt and cross the Red Sea. It’s a series of weekly stories of miracles and the amazing presence of God.

One of the issues that has consumed me this week is the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire that went before the people of Israel. I’ve had to ask for several pictures from the artist, because he has a different idea of the situation than I have. It’s difficult, especially as we just communicate by email.

It’s been an “obsession” on my part. That’s how I see it. I’ve finally got a picture of children and their excitement because of the pillar of fire.

Here is the picture of the cloud and the people traveling.

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. Exodus 13:21,22

 

Why this obsession? I want the children I reach through my stories to catch the vision of God’s presence. Just like God guided the Israelites, his presence goes with us today.

We now have the presence of God in us through the Holy Spirit.

Let me tell you a fresh testimony of God’s presence in my life. To do the stories and publish them online with pictures and activities to go with them I need help. Some of you know about Cristina and Absalom that work with me. I am able to have their help because of income I get through translation jobs.

My translation projects ended; I finished them! No more income to pass along! I was talking to the Lord this morning about it and came to think of my friend Bruce. I have to give him a call to see if he has any projects, I thought. Later in the morning, as I was writing some checks, I reminded the Lord that the balance on my account was very low. I have some savings to cover my funeral expenses (I don’t want t leave my daughter with that burden) and I don’t want to cut into that fund. Of course, God knows all that, but we are told to make our requests known to Him.

As I am debating about this, guess who calls? Bruce! And he had a project for me!

Talk about God’s presence! Like He went before the children of Israel in a cloud and in fire, He has been guiding me step by step all my life. This is not the first miracle of this kind. But every time it’s just as exciting!

This new project will help me keep my artists for a few months more. Then there will be another miracle! No doubt about that!

Dear Reader, you can have the same Presence in your life. Whatever your need is today, put it in God’s hands. He has promised to never leave us and never forsake us.

See Hebrews 13:5,6. Read about the cloud and the fire in Exodus 13:17-22.

I wish you a miracle-filled weekend! 

 

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Some Thoughts on Accountability

We talked about accountability today at church. It makes me think of my cute little neighbor back when we lived in Colorado Springs in the mid-nineties. He must have been just three years old when he came to visit and told me he was learning RESPONSIBILITY. Such a long word for a little guy! Res-pon-si-bi-li-ty! It was hard for him to pronounce it, but he learned it. Today he is an awesome young man! God bless you, Bradley! God bless his mother who taught him well! God bless his dad!

Accountability is the responsibility we have towards God and our fellow man.

Here is a quote I picked up from the sermon today: Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results.

We are all accountable to God.

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Romans 14:2 ESV

When we stand before God there will be no excuses. We will not be able to put the blame on anybody. It will be just me/you and God.

For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:7-12 ESV

Jesus said that we will give an account for every careless word we speak.

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:36,37 ESV

To be accountable is to take responsibility, like my cute neighbor Bradley was learning. Taking responsibility for our actions!

This morning I read an interesting account of what happened to Miriam, Moses’ sister, because of her jealous actions. It made me reflect on the seriousness of speaking against a servant of God.

Miriam and Aaron spoke against their brother Moses and asked if God had only spoken through him. Had he not spoken through them also?

The Bible tells us Moses was a very meek man, more than anybody else. God was not pleased with Aaron and Miriam, and he rebuked them saying,

“Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. 7 Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. 8 With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
Numbers 12:6-8 ESV

How were they made accountable for their actions? “The anger of the Lord was kindled against them,” and Miriam became leprous. Moses had to plead with God to forgive them and to heal Miriam. God heard his plea, but Miriam had to be shut outside the camp for seven days.

“Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!”
Psalm 105:15 ESV

King Saul hated David. One time he took three thousand chosen men to pursue him. Saul went into a cave to relieve himself, not knowing that David and his men were sitting in the cave. David’s men saw this as his opportunity for revenge. But David did not want to touch God’s anointed. What he did was cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. But he felt remorse for doing this and said to his men,

“The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.” 1 Samuel 24:6 ESV

David persuaded his men not to attack Saul.

I have chosen “serve and obey” as the theme for this year—really, it’s the theme for my life. To serve and obey Jesus has been my passion as far back as I can remember. I’m accountable to God for my actions. The scariest part is that we will give an account for every careless word we speak.

We need to talk about this another time, about our careless words. We throw words around as if the wind would take them and blow them away forever. But that’s not the case.

I’m glad that I have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ!

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2 ESV

I must repent time and again for careless words. Many times our words hurt someone, and we don’t even know it. Let’s make this week very special in being accountable for what we speak. May we serve and obey Jesus with wholesome words out of our mouth.

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Colossians 4:6 ESV

This is the verse that inspired me to write the Salt and Pepper story. I wanted to talk about gracious speech. It has evolved into a story like the “Energizer,” that keeps going, and going, and going!

Have you checked it out? This week it’s chapter 22. In Spanish we are up to 30!

Welcome to read about Salt and Pepper with Daisy, and the Treasure Club at Miss Beatrice’s house.

SALT AND PEPPER STORY

Let me just put a period here. Or else, I will keep going, and going, and going. May you have a blessed week and a good start of February!

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A Heart-Warming Surprise

In the 1970’s my father started a Bible school in the city of Huancayo, Peru. It turned into Bethel Bible Institute. One of the students was Julio Rojas Flores.

In the 1980’s the Shining Path terrorist were attacking the area were Julio lived. He and his family had to flee, because they didn’t want to join the terrorist movement. When Julio came to us at the Bible Institute asking for advice on how to proceed, it was not easy. I don’t remember all the details but for some reason Julio had to go back. We all gathered around him to pray. I felt like we were telling Julio, “Go back and die!” because we knew he would not join the terrorists and they would probably kill him. That was the first time I heard Dad cry. It was a desperate and loud cry because of the plight of a brother in Christ!

Years later, when there was no more threats from the terrorists, Julio returned to pastor a church in Ayacucho. He is still working tirelessly there. I see his posts on Facebook about the different villages he visits teaching the Word.

This morning I got the most heart-warming surprise I’ve had in a long time. Julio has made a video in memory of my father, Pedro Anderas as he was known in Peru.

Such a treasure, to remember the man whose only desire was to serve others. In the video my father mentions the Bible verse that moved him to do just that.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10

The video is in Spanish and the Kichua language and has some of the typical music for the area in the Andes Mountains where Julio ministers.

Video in memory of Missionary Pedro Anderas

https://youtu.be/ssJq1fePHO8

Per Anderas as a young missionary doing what he loved most,
teaching God’s Word

My father’s motto for the Bible Institute was to prepare servants. Young people would come and ask what kind of diploma they would get. “You will graduate as a servant of Christ,” would be the answer they got.

The first graduating class chose as the name DOULOS as their theme. Doulos is a Greek word that means slave, bondman, servant.

I am so glad that I chosen SERVE AND OBEY as my theme for this year. I was reminded today of the heritage that Dad left me. He was a servant, whose greatest desire was to do good. In the above video he was 86 years of age. He told the people that in Sweden when they reach retirement age they don’t work anymore. “But I can’t do that,” he said. As long as he had strength, Dad wanted to continue serving the people God had called him to.

My mother had a missionary calling since childhood, but she didn’t want to be a missionary. When she met Dad she was excited because she was sure he would not be a missionary. But every morning when Dad had his prayer time, he would see a map of South America before him, and he understood what it meant.

One day, Mom asked him if he had thought about being a pastor, because for her that could compensate for not following a missionary calling. “No,” said Dad, “but God has called me to be a missionary.” That settled it.

They had fifty and a few more years together, and their life was devoted to serving others. I will be sharing stories about their missionary life of service in the coming days.

Just as they obeyed the calling to serve God, I want to come to the age of 86 and say the same thing as Dad: “Others stop working, but I can’t do that!” As long as there is breath, I want to serve Jesus!

May you have some heart-warming surprise! Blessings by the bushels! Have a wonderful day!

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