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Day 4 – March 9, 2019

Last night when we went out to eat, which means we went down the street to a corner cafe on the sidewalk, we then tried to drive through downtown to go to an ice cream place for dessert.  I believe there is a local election for mayor and others to take place in another week.  We encountered political rallies going on for the candidates running for office.  These rallies took place in the streets with the entire street blocked.  Jane had to maneuver through side streets to work around the blocked areas.  Lots of people were out walking and mingling and standing in groups to listen to some campaign speech.  

I have been reading through the book of Isaiah in my personal devotions and I came across a verse that seems to speak to the election campaigns going on.  Isaiah 8:11-13. “For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear; more be in dread.    But the Lord of Hosts, him you shall honor as holy.  Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.”  (ESV).  The Message version says, “God spoke strongly to me, grabbed me with both hands and warned me not to go along with this people.  He said: “Don’t be like this people, always afraid somebody is plotting against them.  Don’t fear what they fear.  Don’t take their worries.  If you’re going to worry, worry about The Holy.  Fear God-of-the-Angel Armies.”

When it comes to whatever political promise we hear, the message I believe Isaiah is telling us is to fear God first.  Fear does not necessarily just mean being afraid.  Fear means also a deep reverence.  We should have such a reverence of God that anything He would say to us is considered His truth.  As ones who believe God, we should follow Him first and obey Him.  We should commit ourselves wholly to Him for He is our Light and our Salvation.  What He tells us we can trust as truth.  He is our Rock, our firm foundation, on which we stand and live.  Politicians don’t give us that firm foundation.  In fact, most are looked upon with distrust because invariably their promises don’t always happen.  It seems in the political arena, the election is aimed at supporting the least dishonest candidate.  

Today has been a day of rest and relaxation.  Carl and Jody, a couple who were here last week or so to do some maintenance for Jane, left this morning to return to the States.  I have met Carl and Jody before a couple of times when our trips overlapped for a few days.  Carl helps Jane a lot by fixing equipment and making sure needed maintenance is done.  This time Jane’s main autoclave which she uses to sterilize all her instruments and linens failed.  Carl found the problem and a new part needs to be ordered and shipped to Jane.  He did get the autoclave working but it has to be monitored a lot to keep the temperatures and pressures where they should be.  The autoclave is an essential piece of equipment if one is doing surgery.  We will be able to use it next week but it will have to be watched closely to keep it working properly.  

I have spent most of the day reading.  At the church we attend in Florida our pastor talked about a study guide to use when reading Scripture.  It is called SOAP and the letters stand for Scripture, Objective, Application and Prayer.  Instead of just reading, the study guide slows me down so I spend some time contemplating what I just read, learning what God is telling me in that passage and applying it to my life.  This is then followed up with prayer.  The study guide is a journal where one can write down thoughts and even the prayer.  Writing it down helps fix in my mind and internalize the application so I carry out what God is teaching me in His Word.  

Damarys and Loida took Carl and Jody back to Quito today and then will return tomorrow.  Jane and I are here by ourselves.  When we had lunch together we spent time talking about the church and some of the changes that take place in our houses of worship as cultural influences bring different perspectives on worship style and even dress code.  At times the leadership of the church undergoes some changes brought on by a failure to follow Jesus or even a distraction from a different doctrine that brings a struggle for that church body.  We won’t be going to a church here in San Lorenzo tomorrow but will worship here at the clinic by going online and attending our church back home.  I would get much more out of hearing a sermon in English than to attend a church here and have no idea what is being said because I am not conversant in Spanish.

The day has been slow and relaxing.  Jane and I had some good time to talk about a variety of issues.  We then had a light dinner and will call it a day.  I texted Phyllis and she had already reset the clocks at home for the daylight savings time.  Ecuador is in the same time zone as Eastern Time but it doesn’t change for daylight savings time.  So tomorrow we will be the same as Central Time.  

Father, today has been a needed day to relax and refresh.  I thank You for that gift.  I have been able to spend some good time in Your Word and studying about the hope that You give me.  Thank You for the blessed hope that brings me incredible peace and joy knowing that I am secure in Your arms.  Thank You for inviting me into relationship with You.  Father, I pray for a good night’s rest tonight.  I pray that also for Phyllis and Connie.  Thank You for taking care of them.  You are indeed a good, good Father.  Thank You.  Amen.

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