Monday, September 24, 2012

Mansions

Right after I returned to Honduras, Suzy suggested I lead devotionals with the girls at our safe house.  Um.  I weakly responded that I didn't think my Spanish was good enough.  She blew that off with, "Sure it is!"  The truth is that leading devotionals is not something I did alot in English, much less Spanish.    True, Wheeler and I took turns leading Morning Prayer for over two years.  Give me a devotional book, in English, and I can handle it.  But in Spanish?  Suzy gave me a Spanish devotional book but it was going to be too much for me to figure out in less than a week.  It looks great but is a bit sophisticated for my first time out of the shoot.  I was about to back out, tell Suzy I just wasn't ready.  However, God is good and He came to my rescue via an email.  (No, I will not share God's email address with you!)

I attended missionary training school last year and met a wonderful family, now serving in Ghana.  I am part of their support team and, as a result, get emails from their sending organization with occasional study guides attached.  Just as I was about to chicken out, BAM!  There in my inbox was a study guide called, "Let Christ Live In You!"  That was all I needed to gird my loins and enter the fray.  I took the major themes of the study guide and adapted it into a  devotional for the girls!

And that's how we ended up in the shower.

On Saturday, Abby - a lovely young woman spending 3 months with Suzy, and I headed to the safe house.  I confessed I was nervous doing my first devotional in Spanish.  Naturally, they were kind and encouraging.  

We agreed that the Holy Spirit lives in us.  I went on to say, "Your heart is like a big mansion with many rooms and things in it!  Jesus Christ is in you but have you let Him in everywhere in your house?"

We walked through the house discussing and finding Scripture about letting the Holy Spirit into every room of the mansion in our hearts.  First there was the living room... This is where we receive visitors. We always want this room to look nice. Many times, we don’t let visitors go anywhere else in the house. The rest of the house is private. Sometimes we only let the Holy Spirit in the living room of our heart.We don’t share our private places and thoughts with Him. 

We also talked about the television as a metaphor for our imagination and photo albums as our memories. I found the photo album metaphor particularly poignant knowing the kinds of memories the girls struggle with...
We can ask Jesus to remove the pain from those memories.The Bible tells us:

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.    Hebrews 4:16
Next stop - the work table... Where do you do your homework?  In the mansion of your heart, this is where you think.  This is where we create plans and goals.   Often, those plans and goals aren’t same as what God hopes for us.  God is the master planner!  He wants you to be joyful and to be successful in your life.  If you trust in God, He will never fail you. The Bible says:  
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

We went to the kitchen (nourish our souls) and the dining room (fellowship) and then to the bathroom. We all squeezed into the tiny bathroom, cheek to jowl in the shower!  We let the giggles pass (How many of you have done a group devotional in the shower??) and then continued...
We can’t forget about the bathroom!  In the bathroom we get rid of all the dirt on our bodies.  The mansión in our heart has a bathroom too!  This is where we confess our sins and clean our hearts and souls.  To be completely clean, we must also forgive others. The Bible says: 
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 
 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25

We ended in the bedroom, the place of rest and restoration.   Where the weary and heavy laden find rest for our souls.

The girls drew the mansion in their hearts, while eating what is clearly the predominant food in heaven - chocolate!




Before we left, as Paul prayed for the Ephesians, I prayed for the girls and I pray for each of you:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 16-19

2 comments:

  1. If I had come, we definitely would NOT have fit in the shower! :-) Great first devotional -- what's next week? God bless Amanda the Missionary.

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  2. Amanda,

    As Margot drove off this morning to the Carmel Retreat Center in Hochston, GA for Divorce Survival Weekend # 45, I had the chance to stop and read your blog. Thanks for sharing the blessings you experience down there, and it heart-warming to see the smiling faces of you ever-expanding family.

    We really appreciate what you and Suzy and Wheeler havee wrought.

    Peter Tennis

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