Our Schedule:

Teaching English and Art together, putting on the GospelCafé concerts, prayer, meeting with our new French friends. It's a good life!

A complete listing of very specific requests for prayer can be found under "Prayer Requests."

For those just getting to know us, please visit the special sections to the right.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Joyeux Noël! We are Blessed!

What is a blessing according to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary-
The act or words of one that blesses, or a thing conducive to happiness or welfare.

The Hebrew meanings for blessing which can mean to praise, congratulate or salute or it can also be used as a curse - barak. Another word is esher meaning happiness. Genesis 1:22 - it was used when God blessed the sea creatures and birds to be fruitful and multiply. He also blessed Adam and Eve to exercise dominion over creation. Genesis 12 says God promised to bless Abram and make his name great giving all the families through him blessings. Blessings also come from our obedience to God's holy laws. Psalm 21:3 You came to greet him with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.

We have blessings of skies above, blessings of the deep springs below - Gen. 49:25, blessings for our obedience in Deuteronomy 28:2, Proverbs 10:6 - blessings crown the head of the righteous.

2 Greek words for blessing are makarios - happiness and eulogeo - good words or the good report that other gives of someone or the prayer we say over food before we eat is a good example for using these words.

Mark 11:9 Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Ephesians 1:3 - God is blessing us right now in the heavenly realms through Christ. 1 Peter 3:9 We are to bless those who mistreat us, because we were called to receive a blessing from God when we do this.

God meant for us to experience all the goodness He offers and fulfillment in life (Romans 4:16 - promises kept through our faith in Him, and His peace (John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives...)

We are an extremely blessed people and God is bringing people into our lives for us to accomplish his work. Here's A Christmas story that happened a couple of weeks ago for which I feel truly blessed.

My first conversational English meeting in the shopfront with the grandmother is a perfect example of how God's blessing can flow. We talked about my French lessons first. She wanted to know where I was taking classes. I told her about 30 minutes away where there is a Christian language school for people who are working in French speaking countries around the world. I pointed to my French Bible nearby telling her I am also taking a Bible class there to learn the French Christian culture. She asked if I was able to understand the Bible when I read it. I told her that I was getting better at it and that my English Bible, which was sitting below, also helps me. She asked to look at them. She wanted to know what all the little information along my verses meant and the paragraphs below the scripture. I told her I had a study Bible with helps and cross-referencing. She asked to read some scripture in French and English.  I opened my Bible and out popped Isaiah 53 about Jesus, the Sufferering Servant, and the prophesies about his upcoming life and death and what that means for you and I! I said thank you to the Lord in my spirit!  

She understood both versions of Bibles and loved that the versions were so easy to understand. She has a good grasp of English and since she came for that, she was surprised at what she learned the first day we met and exclaimed "there is no one to talk to about these things!" Her granddaughter of 14 told her God does not exist. "Dieu, ne exist pas." I asked her if they come to her house for Christmas. She said yes. "Why don't you have one of your 9 grandchildren read the Christmas story out of the Bible?" She said she didn't feel comfortable doing that and said, "I will let the Saint Esprit do his work." I told her the Holy Spirit is doing his work but that the Word of God is powerful. I also told her that my grandmother had one of the grandchildren read the Christmas story every year for over 30 years. It was always a special time.  It gave my new friend something to think about and I pray for her with this Holy week upon us and look forward to our time together next month.