What type of fruits falls from your life?

Summer is great because freshness is displayed either at the Farmers Market, grocery store, or in a fruit basket. Who doesn’t enjoy a juicy cherry, refreshing watermelon, or tasty Ontario peach? At spring time, novices like me have difficulty to discern what type of fruit tree he is looking at; and without the help of a more knowledgeable person, the person is never sure if he is looking at an apple, cherry, or pear tree. But late summer things look different, because you can see the fruits.
Jesus used the metaphor of fruit to describe the produce of our lives. “A tree is identified by its fruit. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart” (Luke 6:43). Pay attention to “a tree is identified by its fruit”. Fruit is the direct result of whatever controls our hearts (Matthew 15:19). The fruit of a life not surrendered to Jesus includes “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage,” and many more evil acts (Galatians 5:19–20). In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit of God is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23).
The question is rather simple: What type of fruits fall from your life?
John O Gaucher

Guapiles is a tropical town is located in the province of Limon

Guapiles is located on the Caribe side of Costa Rica. Being tropical it is much warmer and humid compare to the high altitude location of San José (the capital), or the Orosi valley. Ginette and I were invited by a local pastor to visit and help this newly started local church (about two years). The weekend was ‘busy’ but fruitful and full of God’s blessings. As the guest speaker, I was involved in two main events; bringing a gospel message at the Youth Rally and Sunday preaching. What a blessing to see a young man of 18 and a young girl of 7 years old responding to the invitation to receive Jesus as their personal Savior. 

On Sunday morning, about 95 people, including then children, were present. Church service lasted only two hours, instead of three, as usual. God moved in the life of the people. After service, a middle age business man came crying asking prayer for his adult daughter that doesn’t follow the Lord presently. Pastor José and is wonderful family, and this church will remain very closed to my heart. I would not be surprised that God would call me back to visit them again.

After Church we were invited into Don Cambronero’s house; there we tasted some very typical Tico’s meal. I also learned that coo water is very good to lower high blood pressure. Costa Rican are very joyful people, probably the happiest in the world. We will certainly miss these great brothers and sisters in the Lord. But thank God that for all eternity we will live together in heaven. Next time you buy a pineapples from Costa Rica, it came from that part of Costa Rica.

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Our Weekend in Guapiles Costa Rica

Guapiles is a tropical town is located in the province of Limon. It is located on the Caribe side of Costa Rica. Being tropical it is much warmer and humid compare to the high altitude location of San José (the capital), or the Orosi valley. Ginette and I were invited by a local pastor to visit and help this newly started local church (about two years). The weekend was ‘busy’ but fruitful and full of God’s blessings. As the guest speaker, I was involved in two main events; bringing a gospel message at the Youth Rally and Sunday preaching. What a blessing to see a young man of 18 and a young girl of 7 years old responding to the invitation to receive Jesus as their personal Savior. 

On Sunday morning, about 95 people, including then children, were present. Church service lasted only two hours, instead of three, as usual. God moved in the life of the people. After service, a middle age business man came crying asking prayer for his adult daughter that doesn’t follow the Lord presently. Pastor José and is wonderful family, and this church will remain very closed to my heart. I would not be surprised that God would call me back to visit them again.

After Church we were invited into Don Cambronero’s house; there we tasted some very typical Tico’s meal. I also learned that coo water is very good to lower high blood pressure. Costa Rican are very joyful people, probably the happiest in the world. We will certainly miss these great brothers and sisters in the Lord. But thank God that for all eternity we will live together in heaven.

“Our plan B are often God’s plan A”

At the beginning of my trip in Costa Rica, my blood pressure went quit high. As a result I had to cancel a few engagements, modify my medicine prescription, and rest! When you are away from home, very easily we can become concern. After you’ve been praying and planning, and not able to achieve your goals can be frustrating! But we need to remember that God in His sovereignty had already everything under control. To begin with I must admit that the health system here in Costa Rica is really good. What surprises me the most is how the doctor treats you; I didn’t feel like a case number, but a person. Dr. Salgado truly cares for their patient.

So how did God manifest His sovereignty? Well-being in a Bible school environment, you take for granted that most people would have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. But that’s not the case! Suddenly in the midst of a group of wonderful young people, there was a young 18 years old German young man. We invited him to go come joint the group in the living room. After introducing each other, the conversation rapidly turn about the person of Jesus. He shared that he came from a Protestant background family, but that he moved to become a Humanist instead. Frederic (fictive name) obviously didn’t seem to have a personal walk with the Lord Jesus; but was a very delightful person.   The discussion was respectful yet very open; Frederic had very intelligent and honest questions about Christ. We’ve made certain that it was more about a relationship with Jesus than simply observing religious rituals.

In his book ‘Show and Then Tell: Presenting the Gospel through Daily Encounters’ Kent Humphreys comment that, “He (God) placed you where you are and He knows why He put you in that place”. That helps me accept my limitations and understood that God kept me from traveling to my appointments, because He had plan a time for me to have time with that young German man. I could easily be upset! Yet, instead it is so encouraging to see God’s hand leading our life in so many details, details that we don’t always understand. Lately I read that <Our plan ‘B’ our often God’s plan ‘A’.> Is in it good news?

New shirts

Unplanned Situations

In my last post I shared that “God uses both planned and totally unplanned situations to bring people to Himself. We just have to be sensitive to what God is doing and to what part He wants us to play in His plans.”  I do not say that it is easy, we normally like to keep things organized and under control. Learning to be sensitive to what God is doing is a learning process.

Today I had to go all by myself to the pharmacy by bus. This seem a rather simple process in our own country, but when the country you are visiting is not speaking your own language, it could be a challenge. On my way back, walking in a narrow street, I meet two men. The youngest one was in need of a walker. So I stop to have time with them, using my extreme limited Spanish, I ask him what happened. He explain that he got shoot four years ago. I notice that he had some tattoos, one of them was a face representing Jesus. At first I ask him to explain the meaning of the other tattoos; then I focus on the one representing the face of Christ. I told him the importance of trusting Jesus as Savior. I wish that I could go explain the gospel in more details using the Wordless Book, but my limited Spanish did not allow me.

That unplanned situation was a highlight in my day!  A good friend of mine gave me a very timely Bible for this trip; it is called “The Traveler’s Devotional Bible”. In Mark chapter 2 the author ask this question, What will it take for Jesus to get you to get going?

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Man proposes, but God disposes

Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.” Proverbs 16:1IMG_1207costa rica flag 2

Prophet Jeremiah used different words to communicate the same idea, “O Lord, I know that the way humans act is not under their control. Humans do not direct their steps as they walk.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

On July 8 we finally arrived to Costa Rica!  But, “my” nice elaborate plans weren’t working as schedule. The morning schedule for departure, my blood pressure went way up! I was starting to question if it was wise to fly that day. I never before experienced such problem.  But, by faith, we believed that God lead us so far in this trip; so we got aboard the plane. To be honest, it was not with some concern. We finally made it to San Jose; what a joy to be received by our youngest daughter Ruth and her wonderful friends from Torchbearers Bible School.

After relaxing a few days, because how I felt and because a Tropical storm taking place in the Caribe side of Costa Rica, it became obvious that I couldn’t keep my first engagement, it has to be postponed. I feel sorry for Pastor Jose and all the trouble he went to received us. Ginette had a sewing class booked and I was responsible to train Christian’s on how to do street evangelism and peach that Sunday.

The following Monday I was directed to a medical clinic called “Jerusalem Hospital”. Dr. Salgado took such a good care; he is a pleasant man, able to communicate in English. New medications were prescribed, and time to relax in the beautiful environment of Portantorchas. (http://www.portantorchas.org/english/index.htm)

What do you do when a project doesn’t go the way “you” had plane? Well a person could panic, or better, learn to trust God.  In his book Show and Then Tell: Presenting the Gospel through Daily Encounters, Kent Humphreys said “God uses both planned and totally unplanned situations to bring people to Himself (serendipity). We just have to be sensitive to what God is doing and to what part He wants us to play in His plans.”

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will share more about amazing encounters God allow me to experience in Costa Rica.

How does one learn to trust God?

How does one learn to trust God?
When a little child takes a walk with his dad, his small hand willingly slips into the larger hand being offered. The little boy’s hand is soft and tiny, perfectly formed, and holds the promise of a robust and skilled man. Does the child worry about the obstacles to overcome along the way? No; in fact due to his short stature, the child is not even aware of the upcoming curb or the busy roadway beyond. But Dad, seeing all from his higher viewpoint, grips his son’s hand tighter and merely lifts him over the curb.
The Christian life is like this child’s example.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” Coming to know and trust God happens the same way that we come to know another person deeply. Intimacy occurs when we spend extended time quietly conversing with another. As we sit and talk, we become comfortable and begin to describe what is really in our heart: our feelings, our desires, and the way we view things. And as we come closer together, we can almost predict what the other person is thinking before he says it. Similarly, when we love God wholly, making our heart’s focus Him alone, we become more and more willing to submit to Him for anything He plans. That willingness frees Him to bring people into our lives that He wants to love through us. God intensely wants this kind of relationship with each of us.
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
“God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God” (Psalm 53:2).
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13).
This call to and promise of relationship was repeated by Jesus Christ:
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14).
In his book “Experiencing God”, Henry Blackaby explained the process this way, “Don’t just do something, stand there.” “Stand there,” Blackaby wrote it is this quiet getting to know God, by prayer and His Word, that develops our relationship with Him, our trust of Him, and our usefulness for Him Continue reading