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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - All things for His Glory

Today is our Anniversary. The kids were awesome. Kennedy made us a super sweet card with a flower display for the table and then they cooked us lunch. And then we had a slow dance after lunch. I can honestly say I love my wife more today than I ever have. She is so beautiful. Besides my salvation - she is the best gift God has ever given me. We have been married 11 yrs. now. We have experienced the loss of a child together, we have nearly died together, our house has burned down, we have lost everything together and gained everything together and through it all God has been melding us closer and closer to Him. Yesterday was one of those days, it was particularly hard one. We lost our puppy ‘Pancake’. We only had her for 9 days but loved her so much. She was an abandoned street dog and was so sick and skinny when she followed us home one day. We named her pancake because that was her favorite thing to eat. She would sit by the stove every morning and cry until they were done. When she was full she would take whatever was left and hide it in a corner for later. It was a day filled with lots of tears. We all loved her the instant she came home to live with us. She brought such spunk and effervescent joy into the house. She crawled inside of our hearts and left way too quickly.

Stupid death, i Hate it, i Hate it, I hate it so much it is not even funny. I feel like kicking it in the head a 1,000 x's... death will not have the last word - I know it won't - Jesus will. Every time I tell people of Him, every time, I will imagine myself stomping on death and sorrow and sickness and pain. "then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54b-55a) So we do not lose heart (2 Corinthians 4:16a) This was surging through me as I went to go preach.

So, yeah - I have been teaching at a local Bible College here on Wed. mornings. I know, it is crazy how God can see fit to use someone like me to but I am thankful. I have been teaching for two weeks now. We have made it through the first nine verses of Galatians. I have really been trying to hammer home that “salvation is of the Lord”. That our acceptance by God is not dependent on us in any way whatsoever, that our acceptance by God is totally and fully dependent on Him. We are saved by grace through faith, it is not of ourselves, it is a gift of God. (Eph. 2:8) And all glory will go to Him. (Galatians 1:5)

A student invited me to preach at his church in La Vega Ixmoco. When I was first asked - I thought, "sure - this will be easy" I have quite a few sermons prepared but as I went through them, I realized more and more that much of the content would not have anything to do with the people here. And it became more and more of a struggle to get a message prepared. Lord - help me to strip away all the excess and just preach the Bible, no entertainment, no fluff, no politics - just Bible. This is what the people need. This is what I need. If the Bible is not good enough - no amount of jokes, fear mongering or good stories will do anyway. Lord, help me to untangle all of my preconceived American ideas from my Christianity and Lord, help me to realize if what I am preaching doesn't pertain just as much to a person living in the big city of New York or a person living in the jungles of the Amazon - it is probably not the gospel anyway. Well, I am thankful --- the Lord did give me a message. I preached out of Roman 5:6-10. While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly (6) But God showed His love for us, in while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (8) For if while we were still enemies we were reconciled to God (10). It seemed like it went over real well. Out of all of them, they only had a few Bibles but they were all sharing there Bibles, following along and listening intently. What a blessing when the word is preached and received so enthusiastically. Right before the service, Eddy – the Bible student put a big speaker outside the building pointing over the valley and said, "you know what the Bible says, 'faith comes by hearing and hearing by the words of Christ', anybody doesn't like it - they can take it up with God"

I like him. He has got some passion and some spunk. If you find it in your heart, be praying for Him. He was in the States for a few years and was living a rather irreputable life, which landed him in prison in Louisiana for 4 yrs. While in jail he became a Christian. Since moving back here, he believes God has called him to be a Pastor and start a church. I believe he is right. It is beautiful how we have this treasure in earthen vessels, how God takes what is broken, what is despised, what is without hope and redeems it for such a high and noble use.

We are in the middle of the rainy season here. It rains at least 3- 5 hrs. a day. We had a pretty big leak in the roof that just got fixed. So that is good. But I have to confess, it does not bother me - there is nothing like sleeping in the Guatemala Mountains as rain pitter patters on the roof. It is soothing to the soul and somehow just makes things feel like all is as it should be. One of the biggest things we could use prayer for right now, is we had some of Sophia's meds mailed and it has been a month and they still have not arrived.

One other thing and then I must go, as this is a blog and I think blogs are supposed to be short. In about 2 weeks we have to go to Mexico to renew our Visas. This is something that we have to do every 3 months, as our Visas are only good for 3 month time spans. Anyway, please pray this will go well without any hiccups. Closing on an exciting note, I have had some conversations with David Sills from “Reaching and Teaching” lately and there are some plans in the works for him to come out here in September. We are hoping and praying. Please pray with us. It would be a great opportunity for the Pastor and Bible training here at FTE. He is the Professor of Missions at Southern Seminary. He has also been a missionary before, a Pastor and a President of a Bible College in Ecuador. His book “The Missionary Call” had a huge impact on me towards missions. Blessings to you all… Tyler By His Grace, By His Means, For His Glory

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