California Love

I’ve been thinking a lot about contentment. In a way it’s God’s secret to a happy life, right? It probably sounds a little ironic, but how are we supposed to grow to be content? How do we learn from the past, live in the present, and prepare for the future? Blaire and I celebrated our two year anniversary this month. Which got me thinking about a teaching I heard a couple days earlier from Ecclesiastes 3:9-15. Solomon asks a question we all need the answer to. “What gain has the worker from his toil?” At the end of his life, the wisest man in the bible says in the next verse “I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man.” But before Solomon reveals the point of it all, he talks about God’s perfect timing. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Now I don’t personally believe everything happens for a reason, but I do believe He can restore absolutely anything that happens. And when He does, it can feel like even the bad stuff was part of His master plan. However, sometimes before God steps in, life can feel like you’re just wading where the waves break. We can’t see His perfect timing. We can’t know what’s coming next. Verse 11 goes on to say “He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Our hearts yearn to know, but we can’t. We can only have faith.

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I had no idea God would lead me to the most beautiful redemption when I felt like I was drowning the most in my life. Eating dinner that night I was overcome with contentment. I thought about how easy it is to doubt God. How easily I can get wrapped up in the things I think I need. It’s no wonder Solomon ends the passage with this ultimate truth; “I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.”

 

Favorite quotes right now…

You need a four hour praise dance performed every morn – I’m feeling shortness of breath, so Nico grab you a horn
Hit Jericho with a buzzer beater to end a quarter – Watch brick and mortar fall like dripping water, ugh!
I’m gon’ praise Him, praise Him till I’m gone!

– Chance The Rapper

Magnify, magnify, lift it on high – Spit it Spotify to qualify a spot on His side
I cannot modify or ratify – My momma made me apple pies
Lullabies and alibis – The book don’t end with Malachi

– Also Chance The Rapper

 

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This Year’s Firsts and Fruits

It’s been quite a year for the Colangelos. First and foremost we actually became the Colangelos!

Just to clarify what we’re actually doing out here I thought I’d sum it up… We are staff members of a chronological bible school in Tijuana, Mexico! This year we have 16 students hungry to study the bible. This school is part of a larger non-profit Christian missions organization called Youth with a Mission (YWAM). We’ve been here for almost 3 years now! And we love it! There are thousands of YWAM “bases” serving all over the world. This location of YWAM allows us to join its home building and homeless feeding ministries!

We’d love to share with you some of the unbelievable fruit we’ve seen while serving …

HOH 2015

Together we’ve build almost 15 homes for needy families!

This month (by the grace of God) we were even able to build our 2nd home with great friends and family.

The benefits of a home show God’s love for the family and greatly affect their health, their children’s education, and can even have a huge spiritual significance!

Local Church Grad

We were also blessed to see the graduation of the local Mexican church that Blaire and I teach in.

Not only are they learning to study God’s word on there own but they’re also learning how to share this truth with others!

Favorite quotes from what we’re reading…

“The natural man must know in order to believe; the spiritual man must believe in order to know.” – A.W. Tozer

 “God created us to love one another, to be kind, unselfish, forgiving, honest, and loyal to our husbands and wives, and to recognize and live in fellowship with Him. The very meaning of our existence is found in loving and obeying God.” – The Father Heart of God

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” – Psalms 111:10

For the Love of God, Cherish it! (Enjoying Life by Abiding in Christ)

Have you ever lived in the future? Physically your body might be behind a desk-shaped prison but your mind is on the upcoming weekend. Or maybe you’re just drifting through the days leading up to a new season in your life, a new job, or some big exciting event. In the season finally of “The Office” Andy (The Nard Dog) says…

andy

Blaire and I were honored to teach the book of Numbers in our bible school last week. Aside from the… numbers, the book is about the 40 years that God’s people “The Israelites” wandered around in the desert. 40 years they waited for the Promise Land.

But through the grumbling they seldom realized that the presence of God was dwelling among them! They missed the fact that the creator of the universe was raising them to be HIS people!

C.S. Lewis writes a brilliant conversation in the “Screwtape Letters” between two demons concerning taking a life.

“The Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy (Jesus) has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present – either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.

Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity . . . It is far better to make them live in the Future.”… “It is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time – for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.”

As Christians we’re called to abide in Christ (John 15:4), who dwells eternally in our hearts. For that alone we have cause for celebration in every moment! It doesn’t matter if you’re in prison (Acts 16:25), wandering in the desert (Num 6:27), or just waiting for the weekend (Me in High school). Wherever you are He is there with you, so stay mentally with Him and for the Love of God you have to cherish it.

Pennsylvania! And to the ends of the earth!

Blaire and I have had a busy and exciting past couple months!

PA 2

We were able to fly out and visit my family in Pennsylvania.

The weather outside was…  weather!

And Blaire got to build her first snowman!… luckily for the frostbitten residents of Pennsylvania he melted shortly after.

R.I.P.

PA

We also got to do some exploring!

But you know what… this picture might be from last year…?

Either way it was fun times in Pennsylvania!

Acts

 When we returned to the base in Mexico we were blessed to teach in the Bible school we staff at.

Blaire taught the gospel of Luke and I taught the book of Acts (as seen above)!

…now that I think about it, that picture was from last year.

Blessings