Monday, May 19, 2008

Saving My Battery

There is a funny thing that people in Bolivia do. It happens at night. You will be driving down the road, and there will be buses, taxis, trufis (like taxi/bus combos), motorcycles, mopeds, and cars driving with their lights off. Sometimes they will turn them on when they approach an intersection, only to shut them off immediately afterwards. The other night I almost hit a guy driving a black motorcycle wearing a dark coat and bluejeans at 10:00 without any lights.

I asked a friend who has lived here for a long time why people do this, and he said it is to "save their car battery". I pointed out that after the engine is running, the lights are operated by the alternator, not the battery. "Doesn't matter", he said, "they do it to save their battery."

Jacob asked me when I told him why the cars didn't have their lights on...."What are they saving the battery for? Isn't it supposed to run the lights? So, if I understand it they are going to wreck a $3,000 car by driving it at night because they don't want to use a $30 battery?"

I was thinking about this. You know, the purpose of the lights on a car is to help you see, and be seen, at night. This desire to save the energy is actually keeping the car from accomplishing it's purpose...safe driving at night. Wanting to save a little life on a cheap battery is endangering the lives of the driver and others. Doesn't it seem a little like shooting yourself in the foot?

Then I thought of us. How often do we miss our purpose in life because of a misconception or a mindset that is erroneous. Take fellowship...true, Christian fellowship where you pour your life into other people and they pour their lives into you. The kind of relationship that eclipses friendship because it is based on the Blood of Jesus and eternity, not just an affinity. Christian fellowship and community...it is one of the purposes that we were created for.

But, we want to save our battery. And even though real fellowship will charge us, we think that it will drain us. We have to work late, go to soccer practice, dance recitals, and children's events. We have to do errands, clean the house, and watch TV. We really don't have the time to invest in fellowship...that takes a lot of effort and we need to save our energy for. . . . . driving without a light.

Guys...living on the mission field has opened my eyes to the real need for fellowship. And this is just one of the many things that I think I sometimes get confused on. I drive in the dark and miss my purpose because I am conserving energy that I will never use.

The next time you turn on your lights and see the road in front of you, ask yourself...when was the last time you turned on your life to see the road and the people ahead of you?

Till Next Time,

Joe

Leia Mais…

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One Of My Favorite Songs



This is one of my favorite songs. I LOVE the second verse. Enjoy it.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Missing My Beautiful Wife


Nuff Said!

Leia Mais…

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!

This is to Denise, but I guess other people can watch it. Babe,I hope that you like this. You will appreciate the fact that it took five hours to make. Here is the process: We want to make video, but our camera is broken. We borrow a camera from the Lowes (thank you) Everyone put on good clothes. We filmed the sment and changed clothes. Our computer is to old to use their cables. We borrowed another camera from the Washingtons (Thanks). The camera did not have a tape. We cannot find our camera bag with our tapes. 45 minutes later, we have a tape. It is to dark to film...and we don't have a lamp. Our flashlights have dead batteries. We finally decide to film in the pantry. Everyone changed again, and surprise! The girls put on different dresses! We filmed again. Jacob and Caleb's segment hadto be redone...the computer lost half of it. Finally...we made it! Now, just a note...half of the above would not have happened if you were here! We love you! Happy Mother's Day!

Leia Mais…

Monday, May 5, 2008

Donde Esta Mama?

We are doing something in my house that hasn't been attempted in 13 years! Seriously, the last successful experiment was over 13 years ago. It was such a near catastrophe, that the authorites have refused to grant us a license to try it again until now.

Mama has left the building.

The family has been without Mama before for ladies retreats (one/two nights max). They have also done without Mom--but only with Gramdma as a proxy.

Now...for the next few weeks..."Estamos viviendo sin Mama" (We are living without Mom). Denise has gone to the States to visit her parents, Seth, and some of our friends. She is also visiting our Home Church.

I cannot promise that the children will be in clean clothes...or any clothing at all, when she returns. I cannot promise health or safety. This is a very dangerous experiment.

However, I can promise this. We are so pumped that she is sacrificing (it is a big deal to her) and leaving us so that she can see our oldest son and her parents. We hope and pray (will you also) that her time in the States is refreshing and enjoyable.

Until then....does anyone know where my youngest daughter is?

Leia Mais…

Evac Pac

Living in Bolivia has had its share of excitement, the latest of which is going on right now. Yesterday, the Department of Santa Cruz voted to be autonomous. Three other Departments (the equivilent of States in the U.S.) have votes lined up in June. The pro-facto result of this vote is like becoming independent from the rest of Bolivia...not exactly but in a way. It is a lot like the U.S. in the mid 1800's, when some of the States wanted to have States rights pre-empt Federal rights. (I am being pretty vague here on purpose--please research on line to see what is going on). The end result of what is happening here could be like what happened in the States back in the time of Lincoln.

As a result of the potential unrest and conflict, we have been instructed to keep what is called an 'Evac-Pac" on hand. This is because in the case of an emergency evacuation, you don't have time to pack. You have to leave everything behind except what can fit in a backpack. You grab it and boogie. In our pack, we have to have some money--not for luxury but to meet the temporary necessities of travel, we have to have our identification (passports and Bolivian I.D.), and then we can put other items that we feel pertinent. For example, I keep a screwdriver handy, and I will take the harddrive out of my laptop because it has all of our medical records, photos, and other personal information. Other than that...it is pretty slim. We have some peanuts, water bottles, vitamins, and a few first aid items just in case we cannot drive and we have to walk to the evacuation point.

As I was putting together our evac pac, I thought of another evacuation that is definitely, not maybe, but for certain going to happen. One day, we are going to do an emergency evacuation of planet Earth. Whatever your end-time theology...there will be a day when God says, "Get outta there now!"

Are you ready for that evacuation? Will you be called to leave the Earth, or will you miss the call? If you were packing an evac pac for that day, what would you put in it? Definitely you would have to have your identity--which is the fact that you are in Christ and you are a citizen of Heaven. Also, you may want to have some money...but in this case you can't put it in your pack, you have to send it on ahead of you. What else? Good to think about.

I have another thought about the evac pac. It is amazing to me how, I can take all of the thousands of dollars of possessions that we have...in the States it would be much more...and I can put the essentials for life in a backpack. The essentials? The things that would keep my family intact, safe, and secure. Also the memories of our relationships. As I was thinking this, I thought...if the only thing that really matters in the case of an emergency is the people that I love...do I treat them like they are all that matter in times of non-emergency?

Just a thought.

Exercise For My Faithful Readers: What would you put in your spiritual, and physical, evac pacs...and what does that teach you?

See You Next Time...and please, Pray for Bolivia.

Leia Mais…