marriage

Day 30 Prayer: Marriage

We are on our 30th day of praying for our spouse and children. What a journey this has been! What you may not know is that the Lord put this on my heart about six months ago. I didn’t want to obey. My first thought was, that means I have to write every day. I enjoy writing, but with my busy schedule, it can be difficult to find the time to write. My second thought was, could I actually write about marriage for 30 days? Well, I have found plenty to write about and God provided not only the words, but the time.

We have covered a lot of ground this month. We’ve looked at communication, our speech, faithfulness, love, and so much more. My prayer is that we would continue to pray for our families. One of the ministries, here, in Mexico has a motto that says, “Fight for Families.” I love that. We are fighting. We are fighting against the rulers of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12). Your spouse is not your enemy. I want to urge you to fight for your marriage because there is nothing that shines the love of Christ brighter in this world than a healthy marriage.

Early on in our marriage, I realized that people don’t wake up after 20 years of marriage and decide to get divorced. It happens over time. Every day you are either drawing closer to your spouse, or drawing farther away. For instance, if you have an argument and you don’t resolve it. The next day you wake up harboring bitterness and that anger or resentment keeps growing until you come back together and can forgive. If you just keep going day after day without resolving the issue, you soon realize you have grown so far apart you don’t even recognize the other person.

You have to keep building that relationship. You have to come together, daily and talk, commune, spend time listening to one another, joking, laughing, and crying; sharing thoughts and emotions.

God created marriage. It’s a good thing. It’s a place where life begins. Is it difficult? Yes. Does it expose our weakness? Yes. But by understanding our weaknesses, we then can go to our Heavenly Father and ask Him to change us into the beautiful vessel He wants to make us into.

I used to believe that I was just a pile of broken glass laying on the floor, waiting to be swept up and tossed into the trash. The Lord showed me one day, that instead of a pile of dirty broken pieces, I was a beautiful glass mosaic candle holder, waiting to shine His light through.

That can be you, too, regardless of the past you have. No matter what your marriage was like yesterday. Today is a new day, my friend! Take hold of it! Tell Satan to back off and rejoice because we know the One who conquered death! When your spouse walks through that door, love on him! Tell him how much you appreciate what he does. Find something to affirm him. You will be blessed when you do.

Day 30 Prayer: Marriage

Lord, thank you so much for creating the unity of husband and wife. Help me to see the beauty of it even when it’s difficult. Please take away my selfish pride, jealousy, and anything else that prevents me from seeing my spouse the way you do. Give me the grace to be able to love regardless of what I get in return. I want to love with a selfless love. Help me to be patient and kind, always forgiving, and never rude. Remind me that when my husband wraps his arms around me, it’s as if you are saying “I love you.” Thank you for creating marriage and giving me someone to love.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A chord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

 

Advertisements
marriage, Missions

Day 19 Prayer: Coming Out of Comfort Zones

When we were in the Philippines, we asked one of the Pastors what his vision was for the ministry. His reply has stuck with me.

He said, “I want to get this church established and raise up a leader, so I can go to other parts of the Philippines and start more churches to spread the gospel.”

I thought, wow! I like his vision. But, what a difficult one. He was willing to start fresh. To give up what he had worked so hard for, to continue reaching people. For him, it wasn’t about how many people came to his church. He just wanted to reach more people. This seemed like such a different concept than what I have seen in American churches.

I struggle with my comfort zone. Some maybe thinking, you?! I know we lived off-grid where we had to haul water everyday and didn’t have conventional electricity and Now we are living in Mexico. But, These things are just giving up some modern comforts.

To volunteer at a rehab home or walking through the red light district inviting drug addicts to church, that’s way out of my comfort zone. However, I have been blessed every time I do it.

It’s baby steps. Like the Pastor in the Philippines, I’m sure when he started his first church, he was anxious and wondering how it was all going to work. Seeing God work out all the details and watching people get excited for Christ, I bet it spurred him on to go a little further and continue God’s work.

Day 19 Prayer: Coming Out of Our Comfort Zone

Thank God that He stretches us beyond what we think we are capable of.

Pray for you and your spouse to step out in faith and do something that is uncharacteristic. For your husband, it may be as simple as leading your family in a Bible study, which can be difficult for a lot of men and way out of their comfort zone.

Pray that your kids will be willing to go beyond what they normally do. Maybe it’s talking to a friend about Christ.

Pray for an opportunity to talk as a family about what God’s vision is for your family as a whole.

“But be doers of the Word, not hearers only.” James 1:22

marriage

Day 17 Prayer: Money

They say finances are one of the top arguments couples have in their marriage. It can be difficult to get on the same page. Some people are spenders while others are savers.

When we counsel couples before they get married, this is a topic we talk about. Naturally, you think lack of money will bring stress. However, I have seen couples with plenty of money have stress, if not more.

I know in our marriage, when we forget to trust God, that’s when our emotions get the best of us and we begin the downward spiral of “what-if’s” causing anxiousness.

I have experienced first hand the verse that says, ” I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging for bread.” Psalm 37:25

Learning to be content in all things is a lesson that I have had to learn. It can be hard when we see others with the latest and greatest things. Early in our marriage we made some mistakes financially. But, thank goodness we have learned from those mistakes.

Living in Mexico, I realize how lucky I have been all of my life. We see people who struggle on a daily basis. It’s sad to see and we try to help whenever we are able. Sometimes that doesn’t mean giving them money. It can be providing clothes that have been donated, or taking them to a shelter. The most important thing is sharing Jesus with them. I love the verse, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, I give to you.” Acts 3:6

Day 17 Prayer: Finances

Thank God for his provision today.

Pray for unity between you and your spouse. If there is financial tension, pray that it would be removed.

If spending is an issue, pray that God would give you the ability to stop and take a step back from what you are desiring and ask the question, “Is this a need, or a want?”

“Don’t love money; be content with what you have for God has said, I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

family, marriage

Day 7 Prayer: Dependence on God

I want to bring up the importance of dependence. It’s a topic I have learned quite a bit about living off-grid. I even wrote a book on it called Beautiful Dependence.  I am not talking about being dependent on vices in our life, such as alcohol, drugs, or food. The dependence I am speaking of is true dependence on God for everything that we need.

When we become too comfortable in life, we often forget about our need to go to God daily. We become complacent. We think Life is good – until it’s not. Then we have a trial that comes our way and we quickly realize how weak we truly are. Jesus is our example. He woke up early every morning and prayed before He did anything else. He went to the Father for direction, guidance, and companionship.

In my own life I fought for independence. I wanted to be the strong girl who could conquer anything set before me. In many cases I succeeded. However, after living on a snow-covered mountain, with a vehicle that wouldn’t get us up the hill any longer, I suddenly realized how important my neighbor was to me. Or, seeing how wonderful my husband was to get up every morning and start the fire, so my kids and I didn’t have to wake up to a cold cabin. Trials became something to expect on the mountain. I knew in order to make it through those trials I had to cry out and depend on God to get me through them.

I have never liked trials. At one point in my life, I was willing to be a lukewarm Christian because I noticed the more I grew in the Lord, the more tribulations came my way. I wanted nothing to do with hardship. I wanted things nice and cozy. Until I realized you can’t stop bad things from happening. We are in a fallen world and its a promise. Jesus says it in John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 

Now, I am not afraid of trials. I know I will be refined and grow into the person God wants me to be as a result. I will also have compassion for others going through similar circumstances.

Day 7 Prayer: Dependence

  1. Pray your family would become more dependent on God and less dependent on the things of this world.
  2. Pray for a humble heart for you, your spouse, and kids. When you see someone struggle to ask for help on a task, pray that they would be able to get rid of pride and ask for the help they need.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Missions

Cherith Brook Baja Newsletter

December 2018

IMG_7829

Hola, from south of the border!

Feliz Navidad, from The Landis Family and Cherith Brook Baja!

After being here almost one and a half years, and seeing God’s provision and handy work first hand, I am left with one clear thought;
The Best is Yet to Come!

To all our family, friends, and supporters we cannot thank you enough. Your prayers and your financial support have meant so much to us we could not do it without you. So, that means you are all part of the work God is doing down here. Please keep coming down for visits, it really lifts our hearts to see our church family.

Cherith Brook’s mission is simple; we are called to Love the one in front of us. The core of what we do as a family on the mission field is to Educate, Encourage, and Equip. This may also include some plumbing, electrical, and baby-sitting.

God’s dreams are so much bigger and better than ours. Christine and I are on the mission field with all three of our grown children. Not in a million years did I ever dream of seeing that!

Aaron, our son, has been here for four months. He is volunteering at Open Arms, which is a great ministry that serves the community by offering free day-care for children from image010infants up to the age of 12 years old. This enables the less fortunate to keep their families together. Aaron lives on-site at Open Arms and gets two meals a day, which means we get to see him a lot when he gets hungry. The kids and the daycare have really taken a shine to him, and he is even learning some Spanish, as he can order his own tacos now.

Storm made it back from Ghana safely. She doesn’t feel called to do missions there for now, but she is always open to wherever God will take her, and the Ghana families loved her so much they keep calling hoping she will move there. She hit the ground running when she came back and has close to 100 students that she is teaching English to at the local high school. She has also started going image007over to the women’s home a couple times a week. It is a home where women can get off drugs/alcohol and taste the love of God. She spends her time laughing, crying, and loving on them. She also leads worship for a Bible study and got a chance to teach at another Women’s Bible study, which must have gone well because they asked her back.

Sarah is working hard at finishing high school early this year and turned 18 on Dec. 16. She is very happy about this! She helps teach dance on Mondays to the locals, and she is baby-sitting one of Christine’s students named Evalynn, a couple days a week. Evalynn is the daughter of Johnny, who is our newest teacher at the La Mision Homeschool Co-op that Christine teaches at.

There is nothing better than seeing your adult children start living out their own faith in Christ!image014

Christine had to move the school this year to the Skill center, which our dear friend, Mary, runs and teaches practical working skills out of. Christine has really come alive now that she has her own classroom and doesn’t have to set up and breakdown every day. She loves the kids and pours so much of herself into them. She also goes to the women’s home with Storm and loves on the ladies there. She is teaching from time to image012time at the ladies’ Bible study at Calvary Chapel Rancho Libertad, and has been asked to teach at their upcoming women’s conference. There is nothing better than watching my wife take flight and become what God has dreamed of her being. Over the last few months Christine managed to reformat her book, Beautiful Dependence, so that it will be printed and shipped by Amazon. This will help us tremendously so we won’t have to drive to the states and hand ship it every time somebody orders it. Our children’s book How Bright is the Moon can also be found at Amazon. We’ve really been getting a lot of good feedback on both books.

As for me (Mark), I have been spending a lot of time transitioning the notes from the grace class that I teach into a book format, and finally finished the first draft, but I still have miles to go before it is finished. Hopefully, by this time next year we will have a printed copy. I am calling it Grace in Plain Sight. I am still teaching a couple of Bible studies a week, and on occasion I get to teach at Calvary Chapel Rancho Libertad in La Mision. I still get to keep my carpentry skills sharp as I often get a chance to help with repairs for other ministries as they need.

My recent favorite was a home I was able to work on for a farming family that lives in the river valley. I wired the whole house and taught the uncle how to run wire, it had to be the Spirit because I don’t speak Spanish and he doesn’t speak English! However, by the end he was running and hanging the wire perfectly, and I taught the kids a few songs as we worked, It was a grand time!

If any of this sounds fun, come on down to Cherith Brook and we will put you to work of loving on and being loved on. We are His hands and feet.

In His Love,
Mark Landis

Husband, Father, Pastor, Teacher, and Friend


Prayer Needs:
Many of you have asked for specific prayer needs. God is so awesome and has blessed us with many people to share our burden. Without you, we would not be able to do what we are doing here. Here is a list of things that we need both physically and spiritually.

*We see many broken people and it’s easy to get discouraged.
Pray against discouragement.
* Wisdom
* Physical Health
* To continue to learn the culture and speak Spanish!
* That we would do God’s will
* Continued financial support
* That the power company would work with us to finish getting power to the farming
family that we helped.
* That the Lord would show Christine what to speak on at the Ladies Retreat.
Retreat dates: January 25-27

If you wish to make a donation there are a few ways you can do that.

Through Pay Pal, www.paypal.com you can find us at pappamark@hotmail.com .

Or, if you want to make a tax-deductible donation you can go through Strong Tower’s website at: http://www.strongtowerministries.info/donations/ When you make a donation please tell them it is for Mark and Christine Landis in the notes or it will not get to us.
Contact Info: Mark & Christine Landis  e-mail: pappamark@hotmail.com /
facebook: MarkandChristine Landis (Through facebook we can text, call, and video chat.)

Uncategorized

Are we the Same?

Two women. One from the United States and one from Mexico. Did we know our paths would cross one day? No! But, I am so glad they did. My life is forever changed. Are we the same? In some ways, yes. In other ways, no. Her life much harder than I could ever imagine. Some would look at me and say I am far better off than the other woman. Some would say I was born into privilege. But what makes me any better than anyone else? Because I was born in a country where life is much easier? Because I was born in the US? How much different my life would be if I was born in a third world country. Why was I the lucky one to be born in North America? But, am I really the blessed one? Sometimes I question if I am truly fortunate. The other woman able to take one moment at a time; to be focused on what is truly important, family. Me, so busy with life and not able to relax without feeling guilty. Questions that stir in my mind as I sit watching, talking, and waiting among the beautiful people here in a Mexico.

church

Saying Goodbye

This week has been difficult as we say goodbye to our family and friends. We leave in a couple of days to go live in Mexico. Many tears have been shed. An old song from Michael W. Smith comes to mind:

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends

To all of our ‘friends’ some old, some new. We love you all and we know that this is not ‘goodbye’. It is ‘see you later!”