04 July 2011

Multitude Mondays - 1000 Gifts ~ Freedom is Accepting the Challenge to Esteem Others

I don't agree with everything Nelson Mandela said... but I totally love this quote:

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains,
to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

Last night, at the Sunday evening service, we were challenged from 1 Peter 2 to "Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king."

Both of these thoughts are complimentary ideas to contemplate this Independence Day... freedom carries with it a huge responsibility... politically and socially... but even more importantly, the liberty that Christ has won for me should compel me to treat others, specifically (according to 1 Peter) the earthly authorities God has placed over me, whether we think they deserve that honor or not. As we were looking at these verses last night, we were reminded that the "king" at the time Peter penned these words, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was the Roman emperor, Nero.

Seems to me, these are timely thoughts as we are entering, once again, another election season...

And speaking of earthly authorities... it has been a joy this year to meet, on several different occasions, the American ambassador to our adopted homeland, Niger. She truly seems to love people and seeks to build relationships. Our kiddos were certainly impressed with her as they spoke with her last weekend, at the 4th of July celebrations held at the American International School Rec Center on Saturday.

Hope you enjoy the photos!

this week's gratitude list
(#s 1256 - 1284)

that I am a citizen of the United States

that I am a citizen of Heaven

reading Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven

a vibrant, energetic, friendly and personable ambassador to Niger

patriotic parades

our kids' designing and building a float for the parade - an activity that engaged and amused all week long

big bro and big sis... good sports with all this parade silliness and fun

our very own little "Miss Liberty!"


picnics by the river

watching hippos

grilled dogs smothered in homemade chili and shredded cheese

sweet watermelon

chocolate raspberry mousse pie... delicious, and all the adaptations to make it work in Niger actually worked!

softball, kickball and apple pie on the fourth

catching up with friends I haven't seen for awhile

meditating on what it means to honor everyone - regardless of my feelings about any particular someone

the Holy Spirit's enabling power... for to esteem and venerate others does not come naturally nor easily

finally finding Zarma making sense

continued progress with the literacy class

an almost finished office building

19 days until they arrive

realizing that that it is OK that I'm not having much of a summer vacation, because I know I'm right where God wants me and serving as He wants me to serve

little girls... and bigger girls... wanting to exercise with a favorite "auntie"

summer nights watching movies, laughing and enjoying friends

this amazing place God has placed us - even when decent veggies are next to impossible to find in town

sleeping with the AC on... makes it feel like vacation

icy water in the cooler

reading my Bible on the back terrace, cool breeze rising from the river, butterscotch danishes baking in the oven - and kid giggles when they find that treat for breakfast

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