The Beatitudes–God’s Heart Language

heart language

For the next few weeks I will be posting excerpts from different chapters of “Let the Beatitudes BE My Attitude in You” to give  specific illustrations from the book. This week’s post is from the Prologue entitled, “God’s heart Language”:

The Beatitudes are God’s heart language. A heart language provides the deepest level of communication between two beings. It is the language in which profound emotions, direct meanings, and precise ideas are effortlessly shared.

In Paraguay, where we were privileged to spend eleven years in missionary service, the power of heart language communication witnessed firsthand. The ancient language of the Guaraní people who occupied the heartland of South American still exists and is theirParaguay guarani heart language. Although Spanish is the official language in Paraguay, one can detect the deep emotion that surfaces between two paraguayos when they communicate in Guaraní.

In Guaraní, meanings pack a real emotional and spiritual wallop, giving a context that is deep and expressive. For example, the Guaraní word for sin is angaipá, the combination of three words: angua—(soul), gai—(rott en), and the pa ending, which indicates a completed action. Thus, the literal meaning for sin in Guaraní is “a soul totally rotten,” an expression that is accurate both scripturally and spiritually. How much meaning is packed into this one word!

If this were your heart language, imagine how just the utterance of these three syllables would clearly unlock the exact idea of sin: filth, degradation, and depravity. If you were a sinner, there would be no doubt as to your spiritual condition.

The Guaraní word Ñandejara is used for “our Lord,” but actually signifies “our owner.” We English speakers must study a whole series of lessons to grasp what lordship implies. In Guaraní, the idea of God’s sovereignty over our lives clearly is understood from the beginning.

Paraguay boy smilingHeart language conveys instantaneous meaning, which is the quality communication that God desires with each of his children. The Beatitudes transport us to this level of understanding with our God.

The primary purpose of our salvation gift from God is to reestablish that original, true, and full fellowship with him that was lost in the garden of Eden eons ago due to the sinful fall of man. Our pursuit of a heavenly mind-set here on earth must be relentless and sincere and the Beatitudes will transport us to this heavenly mentality.

Beatitudes stairway

The Beatitudes are serious business and packed full of meat that is filling and sustaining but sometimes hard to chew and even harder to swallow. You will experience the Beatitudes as a series of valleys of purging. Each one will remove some unholy and distasteful part of you, according to God’s holy standard, and will replace it with something much more fulfilling and significant. You will never be the same after this refining process, nor will your relationship with Christ.Java Printing

The Beatitudes are spiritually bestowed, not humanly acquired. Only the Holy Spirit can lead us into this unexplored territory and carry us to taste of their sparkling springs of true and living water.

To discover the Beatitudes an earnest and deep determination to know God must drive us daily. We desperately must desire to sit prayerfully under his teaching, to be spoken to through his Word, and to allow his powerful insights to seep into every fiber of our John's Storybeing. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins write in John’s Story: The Last Eyewitness, what our heart’s attitude must be, “My ears are yours until you have run out of things to say to me!”

Let’s begin our quest and ask the Holy Spirit to empower us for this great task.

 

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,
to be strengthened with power through his spirit in the innerman; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts with faith; andthat you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able tocomprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth and lengthand so that you may be fi lled up to all the fullness of God. Nowto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all thatwe ask or think, according to the power that works within us,to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to allgenerations forever and ever.  Amen! Ephesians 3:16-21

 

Thoughts for meditation:
• Are you ready to totally yield yourself to God as you embark upon this quest?
• What is your deepest spiritual motivation for this quest? Remember this essential cause as you move forward and the road becomes difficult.

The Beatitudes–A Novel Idea

At the Cross

The Powerful Pilgrimage of a Suffering Saint”

After concluding the individual Beatitudes chapters and exploring their powerful promises, bountiful blessings, and the heart sacrifice necessary to truly experience each one, I sensed the Lord wanted still more in this book. And, lo, the He sparked another inspiration. Why not depict someone actually experience the Beatitudes in real life situations and view their impact on that individual’s life? Such an approach would definitely illustrate “the rest of the story”, as Paul Harvey used to say.

            So, the first big question was “plot”!  Around what type of character should the story revolve and how would the Beatitudes rescue that person from their circumstances of life? The novel could also serve as a vehicle to reinforce different messages presented within the book. These conceptual ideas were challenging—how to bring it all together? This task seemed to exceed my writing skills, yet I committed to see it through. The novel evolved into one of the most enjoyable experiences in writing the book!

The central character had to be created—his name, personality, life, and level of spirituality, key factors around which the story would evolve.  The names of two favorite individuals came to mind—“Wesley”, the name of a treasured friend and our family physician while in Paraguay, persisted in my consciousness.  Then, “Baker”, the last name of an outstanding and well respected student in one of my upper level Spanish classes broke through. 

“Wesley Baker” would be “the man”, but who would he be?  Wesley turned out to be a young, very career minded, health care administrator who had drifted from the Lord over the years, and had also undergone a devastating life tragedy.  He had a long way to go and the Beatitudes would have to work miracles in his life. 

            The novel begins with an introspective and vulnerable moment for Wesley during his routine attendance at a Sunday morning church service.  Suddenly he became aware of his urgent spiritual need!  As God attempted to grab his attention, would Wesley seize this moment and let it make a difference in his life?land of the beatitudes, Marlin J. Harris, Let the Beatitudes be my attitude in you

            Wesley does take up the Beatitudes Quest.  The reader is also challenged between every word and line to follow Wesley’s example and encounter that same consuming fire and spiritual exhilaration within each Beatitude, just as does Wesley. With each partial surrender of his heart to God Wesley discovers exactly “where” the Lord wants to transport him in his spiritual journey to become a powerful instrument for Him.

            One morning, as I sat down to write about Wesley’s collision with the Third Beatitude and lesson of “meekness”—the Mirrored Mountains of Meekness rose up in my mind as God illuminated the challenge for Wesley to make the summit to ”submit” and let Jesus become fully visible in him.  Here’s a brief excerpt from Wes’s mountaintop experience:

mirrored mountains, Marlin. J Harris, Let the Beatitudes be my attitude in you “This is what meekness means, my brother,” Jesus continued, “Meekness is all about going on, and that’s what you’re about to do for me. You are going to negotiate this slippery, mirrored mountain to its summit. This exercise will be a doubly difficult because you will see your reflection with each step. Self will be constantly looking back at you, demanding your attention and revealing your every emotion and reaction. And when you reach the summit, your reflection will change. Instead of your face, you will begin to see mine.”

Wes was puzzled, but more than ready to begin the climb. Seeing his face at every step and turn was an uncomfortable experience, and the mountain was steeper than it had appeared below. His reflection showed his mounting fear. “My me is too big, because that’s all I’m seeing,” he thought. “Where’s Jesus in me? I don’t see him at all!”

At that precise moment, he noticed a slight flicker in the glass. A verse came to mind. “Now we see through a glass darkly . . .” That was certainly what he was experiencing, just a dark glass with his own anxious face peering back.

The glass glimmered again, and Wes saw gentle eyes gazing lovingly back at him as he clung to the mountain face. He couldn’t look down—it was too frightening and paralyzing, but he couldn’t stop climbing—he was only halfway up.

To reach the summit, he knew his mind had to be absolutely on Christ. Only Christ could control each careful movement upward. And with each supreme effort, both physical and mental, Jesus’ face became more evident, giving to Wes the strength and determination to make it to the top. Fear was gone, replaced by the sole desire to let Christ become as much of him as possible. With one last push, Wes made it! And the face of Christ was no longer a reflection but a reality, as Jesus stood there smiling down at him. Wes joyfully thought of the rest of the verse—“then we shall see him face to face, in total light.”

“My Lord and my God!” Wes exclaimed, kneeling at his Savior’s feet.

“Yes, Wesley. I came to save you, which is as far as many of my followers ever decide to travel with me,” Jesus said. “I died to also be their Lord, to bring them into the fullness of themselves. Yet they are unwilling to make the hard climb against “self” that you just experienced. You now know the limiting factor of self, and you have crossed this barrier that Satan employs so insidiously among my people.”

Writing the novel portion of the book was adventurous andLet the Beatitudes be my attitude in your, beatitudes, Marlin Harris somewhat nerve wracking at times, when I had no idea how to keep the plot moving forward.  But in those early morning hours, God poured forth new ideas providing new twists, turns and unexpected intersections to reconcile the plot.

In the end Wesley is totally remade: in his priorities of life, commitment to Christ, and interaction in the lives of all around him. Wesley’s story will continue in future books. He will be used in ways never imagined and the lives he touched will become great instruments for the Lord as well.  I’m excited to be the “storyteller”, even though I do not even know all “the story” yet!

The novel underscores the bottom line message of the Beatitudes—to bring you even closer to God and become an extremely effective instrument for Him in this world!

consuming fire                                             fruit

Go for it—and be a Wesley Baker!

Blessed are the Peacemakers and the Persecuted in song

The Peacemakers:

 Peacemaking is God through us…

All your works with joy surround you. Earth and Heaven reflect your ways.

Stars and angels sing around you, Center of unbroken praise.

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness. Drive the dark of doubt away. God, our Father, Christ, our Brother, all who live in love are Thine. Teach us how to love each other. Lift us to the joy divine.

 ―Casting Crowns, “Joyful, Joyful”

The persecuted: 

Persecution is the proof of real love…

Alone in a garden weeping, begging his Father, pleading, ‘Take this cup from me, but if it’s your will Father, let it be.’ All the others sleeping, sweat on his brow was bleeding. He could have run away, but he chose to stay. 

This is love, this is real. This is more than a hope or feeling. It’s enough to cover us. This is love.

 After a kiss abandoned, beaten and cursed for passion. They lift ed him up to die, but he laid down his life. Death only wished it was stronger. The grave couldn’t hold him longer. He rose in victory to rescue his enemies.

 It seems like this mercy is following me. It seems like this love has come to rescue me. It seems like this mercy is following me, everywhere I go.

 This is love, this is real. This is more than a hope or feeling. It’s enough to cover us. This is love.

—Kutless, “This Is Love”

The redeemed endure to the end…

We sing it in the darkest place, ’cause love is in your powerful name.  

We shine the light of beauty and grace, we’re living in the Name that can save!  

We sing to you the songs of the redeemed!

 We sing to you the song of the redeemed. You beautified our hearts and made us clean!

 You rescued us from death and set us free! We sing to you the songs of the redeemed!

Charlie Hall, “Song of the Redeemed”

 

Be a “Hero” for Christ…

Who ever told you, you can’t win? Who ever said that if you fail don’t try again? It’s is the ordinary, deep in the weak and weary, the power to overcome the fear you’re holding in.

You could be a hero. You could be the change in this world. Rise above the normal. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.

We are the light, we are the hope, we are love inside worth fighting for. You could be, you could be, you could be a hero.

You don’t have to look hard to see. You don’t have to reach that far, to find someone in need. There is a desperation, deep in this generation, looking for something new, a love they can believe.

 Love will even cross the ocean wide. Love will lose it all to save a life. Because of the love God gave you’ll find that, you could be, you could be, you could be a hero. 

—Kutless, “Hero”

In this world all we need is God!

Rich or poor, God I want You, more than anything that glitters in this world.

Be my all, all consuming fire! You can have all my hands can hold, my heart, mind, strength, and soul. Be my all, all consuming fire! ’Cause all we need is You!

—Charlie Hall, “All We Need”

 

In the world to come, we get to look back…

From where you’re standing, Lord, you see a grand design that you imagined when you breathed life into me. All the chaos comes together in your hands like a masterpiece of your picture perfect plan.

When I’m lost in the mystery, to you, my future is a memory.  ’Cause you’re already there. You’re already there, standing at the end of my life, waiting on the other side. And you’re already there. You’re already there.”

 One day I’ll stand before you, and look back on the life I’ve lived. I can’t wait to enjoy the view, and see how all the pieces fit. One day I’ll stand before you, and look back on the life I’ve lived.

 ’Cause you’re already there, already there. 

—Casting Crowns, “Already There”

 

We have eternal hope because His Glory endures forever…

 

Songs for Blessed are “the merciful” and “the pure in heart”

THE MERCIFUL

God’s mercy is for everyone, no matter what…

 

How long till you come to the end of your reckless streak? How long till the fr eedom weighs you down? How long till your heart figures out that you need me? How long until you turn around?

When you come back home, I’ll be running out to meet you. When you come back home, you’ll find that I’ve never left you. You’ll see every wrong turn, every bridge you’ve burned. It’s all forgiven and gone, when you come back home, when you come back home.

I wanna see that face that I’ve been missing so much. I want to wrap my arms around your neck. I want to welcome you back to the place that you belong. I want to show you love has never left.

I’ve paid the price and have no fear. There’s nothing but mercy here. Mercy is waiting, when you come back home! 

—Kutless, “Come Back Home”

 His mercy will find us and make us whole…

Your mercy saved me, your mercy made me whole. Your mercy found me, called me as your own.

Here I stand a child of your, broken and in need of you. Break these chains and wash my guilt away.

Healer of my brokenness, my weary soul will find its rest. You are my strength, the lifter of my head. You’re greater than my yesterdays, you hold me close today. You’re the Lord of my tomorrows, my heart will always say.

Your mercy saved me, your mercy made me whole. You called me as your own, you called me as your own. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your mercy. 

—Casting Crowns, “Mercy”

 We are to show and spread God’s mercy everyday!

You could feed the whole world with the crumbs of old bread. Spread the good news through dreams and stones. With a breath of the wind you could raise up the dead, but you ask us to go.

 Help us love mercy, help us do justly, help us walk humbly with you, God.

Forget not the widow, the orphan, and slave. O God, please remember the helpless today.

Call on your children repairing the breach. There’s no place too far that your mercy can’t reach!

—Charlie Hall, “Micah 6:8”

THE PURE IN HEART

 Self is Public Enemy #1…

God help me get away. Break the chains and set me free, from the other side of me. I am my own worst enemy.

 I caught a glimpse in my rearview mirror, of an old familiar face. Blurry image coming in clearer, of a past I can’t erase. I could have sworn I put him in the ground, but looks like he found his way out.

God help me get away. Break the chains and set me free, from the other side of me. I can’t fight this on my own. Lord Jesus rescue me, from my own worst enemy.

I’ll take a step and its right behind me, always fighting for control. There’s a war that’s raging inside me. I feel the battle for my soul. It’s like my shadow is dragging me around, and you are the only way out.

Lord, help me feed the life I’m trying to life, and starve the life I’m trying to leave. Help me believe the old is dead and gone. And I am a new creation. 

—Casting Crowns, “My Own Worst Enemy”

 When God purifies our heart—He is in us fully!

Oh, I wanna feel you move me, like a river running through me. I’m so tired of trying to prove it, I’m never gonna do it alone. God, I need you to be, my identity.

 It’s always easier to hide behind that camouflage that keeps our hearts so guarded. But there’s no shame when we surrender everything to you, everything to you.

Kutless, “Identity”

 The pure in heart only know God more…and more!

To know you is to never worry for my life. To know you is to never give in to compromise. To know you is to want to tell the world about you, because I can’t live without you.

To know you, is to hear your voice when you are calling, To know you is to catch my brother when he is falling, To know you is to feel the pain of the brokenhearted, ’cause they can’t live without you.

More than my next breath, more than life or death, all I’m reaching for, I live my life to know you more. I leave it all behind, you’re all that satisfies. To know is to want to know you more.

To know you is to ache for more than the ordinary. To know you is to look beyond the temporary. To know you is believing that you’ll be enough, ’cause there’s no life without you. All this life could offer me could not compare to you.

I’ll leave it all behind, because you’re all that satisfies. To know you is to want to know you more. All this life can offer me cannot compare to you, and I’ll count it all but loss, compared to knowing you, knowing you. 

                        To Know You, by Casting Crowns, Until the Whole World Knows

We see the world through God’s Heart!

Let me see the whole world through your eyes. Let this generation wake and rise, running with your heart, with your heart. Bring your kingdom, joy, and freedom, light to all the world. Rain down heaven’s power and presence, life to all the world.

See what you see. Love what you love. Go where you go. That’s what we want!  

Charlie Hall, “Running with Your Heart”

 

The pure in heart can never get enough of Jesus—we just want more!

We are chasing after the heart of God. Christ, be the Center of our lives. Be the Place we fix our eyes. Be the Center of our lives!

—Charlie Hall, “Center”

Blessed are the meek and those that hunger and thirst for righteousness..

The meek:

 

            In meekness we find power…

There is strength in my weakness that comes only from you. There is power in meekness that I have found in you.

Where else can I go? You know I’m weak. I know you’re strong. You say when I’m broken and can’t carry on—Carry on!

When all my strength is gone, you’re still holding on.

There is love for the lonely that only comes from you. There is peace and forgiveness that I have found in you. Where else can I go?

You are the way, you are the light. You are the voice calling me through the night.

You are holy and just, full of mercy and love. You are patient and kind. Your grace has opened my eyes. When all my strength is gone, you’re still holding on.

—Kutless, “Carry On”

 

Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…

            The Word is our Lamp…

The flowers will fade in their beauty, but your word travels faithful and true.

My hands on the pulse I am listening, and the words come to life and they bloom.

Oh, your word is a lamp to my path. Oh, your word is a lamp to my path.

Let the power of your word dwell here richly, changing the way that I see.

Fill me with otherly wisdom, plant me deep like a tree by the stream.

Oh, your word is a lamp to my path. Oh, your word is a lamp to my path.

I don’t put my hope in my wishes. I hang on your promises true. Your word’s like a sword searching all of my heart, dividing the lies from the truth.

Oh, your word is a lamp to my path. Oh, your word is a lamp to my path.

—Charlie Hall, “Lamp”

 Between the Beatitudes

The first four Beatitudes transport us inward toward God. Our spiritual pride has been crucified, our mourning has been given to God, Christ shines in our meekness, and we are banqueting on the Word!

Jesus is our universe!

 

Just like the sunshine, you have been our light, leading us into beautiful places. We’ve walked through fire, but you’ve made us brighter, leading us into beautiful places.

Faithful Jesus, Healing Savior, Compass, Center, Bread of Life.

 God, you are here with us, constantly here with us. You are our everything, faithful and true.

 Just like the starlight, you shine in the black night, leading us into beautiful places. Just like the atmosphere, you’ve come to surround us here, leading us into beautiful places.

 Faithful Jesus, Cherished Treasure, Our Portion, Wisdom, God’s Great Light!

—Charlie Hall, “Constant”

Blessed are those who mourn–as told in song

Those who mourn:

 

When the path is daunting, and every step exhausting, I’m not alone. I’m not alone. No, no.

I feel you draw me closer, all the burdens on my shoulder. I’m not alone. I’m not alone.

You pull me from this place. Hallelujah! You carry me every day. You carry me all the way . . . . Your love has moved me.                     —Kutless, “Carry Me to the Cross”

 

            Jesus is our Rock…

Yesterday I felt so angry and today so insecure.  And I hate that I wrestle with the God that I adore.

I know less about you, but my heart loves you so much more! 

You’re the bright in sadness. You’re my brightness.

I wish this thing could pass from me, but I’m wanting what You want.

So bring me high or bring me low just hold me in your love. You know where we’re going, God, and you know where I’ve been.

Your love is like a rock when I’m spinning!          

Charlie Hall, “My Brightness

 

            Jesus is the Well….

And all who thirst will thirst no more. And all who search will find what their souls long for.

The world will try but it can never fill. So leave it all behind, and come to the well.

So bring me your heart, no matter how broken.

Just come as you are, when your last prayer is spoken. Just rest in my arms awhile, you’ll feel a change, my child, when you come to the well.

And now that you’re full of love beyond measure, your joy’s gonna flow like a stream in the desert. Soon all the world will see, living water is found in me.

’Cause you’ve come to the well.                                        

—Casting Crowns, “The Well”

        

   

            Jesus is Everything…

When every step is so hard to take, and all of my hope is fading away, when life is a mountain that I cannot climb, you carry me, Jesus, carry me.

You are strength in my weakness. You are the refuge I seek. You are everything is my time of need. You are everything. You are everything I need.

When every moment is more that I can take, and all of my spirit is slipping away.  When every breath gets harder to breathe, you carry me, Jesus, carry me.

You are everything. You are everything I need.

—Kutless, “Everything I Need”

Release your mourning to Christ, and let Him give you the morning of a new day.

Jesus wants to carry your burden and flood you with His comfort!

The Beatitudes in Songs

When one reads “Let the Beatitudes BE My Attitude in You” the preponderance of song lyrics will certainly grab your attention!  Why and how did this happen? 

When we returned home from the mission field my Christian music landscape was fairly barren, other than traditional hymns and well known praise choruses.  This abruptly changed one year when I accompanied my teenage children to the Smokey Mountain Scott Dawson Evangelism Conference our church youth group attended each year. 

I’ll never forget walking into that first session; jam packed with thousands of young people in fervent song and movement as Charlie Hall, worship leader, was performing his then hit song, “Marvelous Light”. 

Music mightily moves the soul—and that’s what this music did to mine! Afterwards I saught out songs by Charlie Hall, and other contemporary artists like Casting Crowns and Kutless. Such a great legacy of incredible songwriters exists in today’s Christian music.

While writing this book certain lyrics exploded upon my mind that embellished and complemented the messages just written.  For example, when describing how the Beatitudes will elevate us to an almost heavenly existence here on earth Charlie Hall’s “New Year” jumped forth from my memory, “I’m held in a place, a beautiful space, where heaven meets the earth.”  That is so true!  The Beatitudes are exactly where heaven meets the earth. “My heart opens wide, and the Father pours life, deep inside my soul!”  And this is what they yearn to do for every believer. How could I not include this message in the book?

Such merging of message and lyrics became frequent in the writing process. Then after the manuscript was finished in March, 2012, new albums by Casting Crowns (The Well) and Kutless (Believer) were released. As I listened to these songs undeniable urgings again linked many to Beatitudes messages again!  In the end—28 songs are intertwined into this work!

The song lyrics add richness to this book. I strongly believe that God inspired this because certain lyrics will captivate specific readers. And two significant musical message challenges await readers at the end of the book. 

Below are illustrations of how these lyrics convey the power of the Beatitudes —in song!

 The Poor in Spirit must:

Grasp the grandeur of God…

Open up my eyes to see all of you, your mysteries.

I hold my breath; you hold my hand, as Heaven melts the heart of man.

How amazed I am!

Your glory fills the sky, a great and holy light. Shining like a million stars. I’m amazed by who you are!                                                                                 —Kutless, “Amazed”

 Recognize our nothingness…

I love this world more than I should. It all falls short of what you’re worth.

How could I think I own my life, when really you’re the one that paid the price?

I wanna give you every breath, every treasure that I hold.

Oh Lord, I give you everything. 

It’s all yours anyway. You gave me life to give it away. It’s all yours anyway.

With blood you bought my broken heart. So here I am, take everything.

It’s all yours anyway. You turned my heart around . . . .          

—Kutless, “All Yours”

             Humble ourselves before God…

’Cause I find myself empty and face down, having nothing else to cling to, but in need of love that only you can give.

Face down, where I know I belong. And I pray with grace that this world sees in me someone humbled and broken at your feet..            

—Casting Crowns, “Face Down

            In Christ our past is past…

Wash me clean in your great love and in your mercy.

Make me clean just like the snow—pure and white.

I have trampled on your grace in my folly.

Place your Hand upon my heart and make it right.

I’m turning around. I’m turning around. I’m turning around.

Yesterday is gone and you’ve forgiven all my wrongs. You fill my heart with song. Yesterday is gone.                                                    

—Charlie Hall, “Yesterday is Gone”

           We are renewed in Him…

I was thirsty land, and you were like rain for me.

I was drowning then, and youwere a breath for me.

Dead here inside, you put your life in me.

When I was blind you gave me eyes to see.

You were sight to me. You make my heart alive.

You tear down the walls and move inside.

You bring my heart to life. You are alive and you are life.

—Charlie Hall, “Make Me Alive”

MORE BEATITUDES IN SONGS COMING ALL WEEK!

The Beatitudes in My Life-(continued)

Costa Rica colleagues-2After appointment to serve at the Baptist Hospital in Paraguay, we began a year of language study in Costa Rica, savored by memorable experiences with other young couples preparing to serve all across the Hispanic world.

Dr. Thurmon Bryant, Area Director for South America, had earlier presented me with clear marching orders, “guide them to become a Paraguayan Baptist owned and operated entity”. No greater favor could have been bestowed to me, because these words dictated my every daily decision and management strategy. Initially, the hospital was labeled as an unwanted “white elephant”; however, with the strategic vision acquired in Tupelo and the sage counsel of Medical Director, Dr. Jovino Cabrera, my treasured partner, the process forDr. Cabrera change blossomed.

A Five Year Trial of “self management” was begun: financial performance improved, the spiritual ministry was intensified, the nursing school was elevated to bachelor degree program, and a mobile cataract surgery program was initiated, reclaiming sight for the poor all over Paraguay. God was clearly at work!

Transfer Ceremony of BH to CMB (May, 1995)(1)In 1995 the hospital transfer took place.  The Centro Médico Bautista was a recognized lighthouse for Christ and pace setting institution. Soon afterwards a group of renowned cardiologists approached us to create a Heart Institute. After much prayer, we took a $1 million step of faith, resulting in blessings never contemplated. Just one year later Heart Institute(1)the first successful heart transplant in the history of Paraguay was performed free of charge for truck driver, Pedro Nuñez, who more importantly received a second “heart transplant” in Christ! Since then numerous heart transplants for children, youth, and adults have been performed, many totally underwritten by the MedicalCenter.  No other medical procedure more clearly depicts the overarching and life changing ministry of this hospital.with Pedro Nunez 001

God led me through the remaining Beatitudes in Paraguay: mourning when my mother departed this world for the glory of heaven, pure in heart, in a great liberating confession before Dr. Henry Blackaby at an annual mission retreat, and peacemaking amidst a very difficult challenge as we had to reduce the Medical Center’s workforce due to the plummeting national economy.

family pictureIn Paraguay Jean and I were tremendously blessed with the arrivals of our three wonderful children: Marlin, Katelyn, and DeLena.  Each are strongly committed to Our Lord and His plan for their lives.

In 1998 God confirmed to me that the very capable leadership was now prepared to assume the mantle and that our mission was complete.  Two months after returning to the US the Paraguay Baptist Medical Center Foundation was established to help provide financial support. Over the last 13 years we have sponsored seven medical mission trips in partnership with CMB which have ministered to 27,000 patients, provided $73,000 in free medicines, and witnessed 3,000 people come to Christ!  Even though my mission in Paraguay concluded 14 years ago, the Foundation has extended an exhilarating ministry with them. 2002 Medical Volunteers (1st Trip)

No matter one’s age, a serious review of your life will reveal incredibly strategic moments and leadership by Our God.  His Hand is clearly evident.  He seeks is our openness to allow Him to accomplish His great purpose in our life and bestow blessings we could never imagine. And such confirmation of the past only points us to our future in Him.  That’s where I am—in the next chapter!