These days, both Maria and I find ourselves so busy with things that we say, “If only there were more hours to a day.” Now, here’s the funny thing…we are not busy doing “stuff” whatsoever, but rather we find ourselves busy as all can be just simply learning…learning Spanish, learning the Bible, learning about theology, learning about doctrine, learning about church, learning about discipleship and teaching, and simply learning about God. It is really weird. We are so busy yet we don’t even have to get off our most uncomfortable couch. Are we being slothful? No way! God is just stirring our hearts so much to know more about Him so that we can be most effective in making His name known to others.
I literally have about 6 different books that I am in the process of reading and they are all awesome books, but I just don’t have the time to read from each one every day. Also, remember that I am in language school for 5 hours a day as well and that also requires study outside of the classroom. Oh yeah, and I have a wife, a 7 year old daughter, and a new 8 month old son that take up a lot of time as well. So, seriously, I just wish that there were more hours in the day to do things. And yes, I also still see it necessary to take time to just have fun, whether that’s playing wii for an hour every so often or playing a game of Skip-Bo with Isabela, the reigning queen of Skip-Bo, or watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie with the family (I bought Maria the whole 9 season set for Christmas last year.
We She really loves her gift.
Both Maria and I feel these days that our brain is in a huge process of plate tectonics…in other words, there is so much shifting taking place in our learning and understanding of God. It seems non-stop and we are just in awe of what He is teaching us. We find ourselves like kids in a candy store with so much available at our finger tips that we don’t even quite know where to start. I credit Maria as being the one that usually always stumbles across something that takes her deeper in her understanding of God (an on-line book, sermon, website, resource) which she then shares with me and I also then get so excited to learn more as it helps me simply know God more. So, here’s just a list of things that the Lord has used to stir my heart to know Him more:
Personal Bible study and prayer – I try to take about 45 minutes a day just to spend time in God’s Word and in prayer. Perhaps it should be longer, but I am thankful that the Lord has brought me to this point, and I really enjoy talking to the Lord and having Him open my eyes to the truth of His Word. I’m still studying the Book of Acts which I have been on for a few months, but I am thinking that for my 40th Birthday in a few weeks that I am going to begin an intensive study of my favorite book in the Bible – Romans. Maybe I’ll get through such a study by the time I’m 80.
This Momentary Marriage – By John Piper. I started this a few weeks ago and it is such an awesome book. I desperately need to understand marriage better and know more about my role as a husband in the eyes of God. I want to learn how to be more of a servant leader. I want to understand more how I can glorify God in our marriage. And this is one of the best books (sadly, I have only read just a few books) on marriage because it first gives the foundation for why we should work at our marriages, and that is for the glory of God because He loves us and has called us His own. Having the right foundation is what enables us to do the hard work, knowing that He is glorified as we seek to honor Him in all we do.
Maria and I have been watching seminary videos on-line from an incredible seminary called “The Masters Seminary” which was started by John MacArthur. All of the classes for a Masters in Divinity are available on You Tube. So, we have started watching the classes of “Systematic Theology” Maria started watching these since I am about to begin classes with the on-line seminary that I enrolled in, but seeing her watch these just gave me too much of a desire to watch them as well, and so I have joined in. Each class is about one hour and twenty minutes. These classes are absolutely incredible. We are learning so much. I don’t know if I will stop watching these even when I begin my own on-line seminary class. They are just so awesome. I can’t believe that this seminary has put all of their seminary classes on You Tube for free so that anybody can watch them. If we watch all of these (which there are hundreds) its like we will be getting a seminary degree level of knowledge right in our own house. Amazing! So far, she has watched four of them and I have joined in for the last two, and already we are just being blown away by the level of understanding of God and His Word that we are gaining.
Also, through our own research and with the help of some friends, we have been finding a number of Spanish websites that have great resources for teaching the Bible and making disciples. So, I find myself trying to read through some of these sites which have hundreds of articles, Bible studies, teaching videos, etc. so that we can use them in our ministry in Nicaragua. Maria and I are thinking of the idea to maybe start a little library for pastors and leaders who desire to grow more in their knowledge of the Scriptures. So, I like to spend time researching these sites and reading, both for practicing my Spanish as well as for gathering resources. We want to develop a data base where we can download these free resources and put them into categories so that we can offer them as a resource to the pastors and leaders in Nicaragua. There are tons of articles in PDF format that we would like to gather together and bind them into books based on various subjects. Ther are also videos that we would like to use especially for pastors and leaders (or whoever else) that are illiterate. So, there’s lots to do.
Loved by God – By R.C. Sproul. This is a video series that we found on-line at R.C. Sproul’s website and we just started watching it last night. There are about 12 studies which are only about 20 minutes each. We are very excited to learn more about God’s love. I know I desperately need to understand it better.
Researching Nicaragua – I try to spend as much time as I can just learning more about Nicaragua. We’re still researching a few different cities that we may want to live. We’re trying to find out about other missionaries or missions in these areas so that we might partner together for the Gospel. Maria and I really don’t want to be solo in our mission work. So, we are praying that we could find other missionaries in the few cities that we are considering. And this too takes time.
Conversations…Looong Conversations – Maria is one to say that I talk too much? Man, this girl can talk for hours on end about the Lord and what He is doing in her life. And we do. She may be the one who often initiates it, but then we both can just end up talking for a long time about all that we are learning. I can’t tell you for how long now I’ve intended to watch an episode of 24 on DVD before going to sleep, but it hasn’t happened in months because we just always seem to get into these looong conversations while sitting on the most uncomfortable couch. But seriously, these are conversations that help us see what God is doing, how He is changing us personally as well as how He is changing our perspective on missions and ministry. I’m thankful for a wife who just always wants to go deeper in the things of the Lord. Maybe someday I’ll finish watching 24. Haha.
If God is Good (Faith in the Midst of Suffering) – By Randy Alcorn. Yes, I am still reading this book. This book has been so incredibly awesome as I still continue to process all that encompasses my little princess Susana being taken into Heaven last year. I still ache…and I probably always will. But I want to trust the Lord and love Him with all my heart even in the midst of my ache. And gaining a greater understanding of who God is and what His purposes are help me follow Him with passion even though I limp. So, this is such a great book that both magnifies a God who is sovereign over all, yet still holds man responsible for his evil actions.
So, these are just a handful of things that I try to cram into my day every day. But they all just don’t seem to fit each day.
Yet these are great things that God is using to draw me closer to him. On top of this, we’re not anti-social hermits. We like to se people and share our lives with them. I’m about to head to the park now to meet with a friend just to talk about the things of God and to encourage one another to stand strong in the faith as men.
And I love spending time with my family. So, I just wish that there were more hours in a given day. It just seems like there is too much that I want to do each day and simply not enough time. I can’t wait till Heaven where we will have an eternity to discover God. For now, 24 hours a day will just have to suffice. – Cody