Dec 18, 2016

Since September

Wow!  So much has happened since my last update:

A few weeks before that last post in September, I was mowing the lawn here at the campus and heard a blood-curdling scream from Miles.  It was loud enough to hear over the mower.  I stopped, picked him up and saw a little yellowish-brown scorpion in his shirt.  I brushed it off and smashed it with my boot.  He was screaming and crying so loud I thought he'd been shot!  I handed him to Cassie, who was now nearby, and she said she would get him into the bath and put something on the bite to help him with the pain.  I fell terrible now...but I figured all was well and finished the last 15 minutes of mowing.  After putting the things away, I returned to our house and heard Miles still screaming!  I spoke with Cassie and she said, "I don't know exactly where he was bit.  I think it was his hand, but he won't let me touch him to see!  I gave him a bath, but he's not really any better."  She was beginning to get sad and worried, then something strange happened...Miles stopped crying for a bit, and started coughing up a thick mucus.  Cassie and I looked at each other, and knew it was time to get him to a doctor.  We threw the other kids in the car without shoes.  That caused a massive panic among them and they thought Miles was going to die!  Cassie had him in her lap as we sped to the nearby Red Cross.  During the ~2 mile drive, Miles started to have trouble breathing, his eyes started to roll into the back of his head, and he began to vomit.  We ran into the Red Cross Emergency Room and, in my best attempt at medical spanish, proceeded to tell them what had happened.  The doctor immediately began with an injection of scorpion antivenin.  We waited breathlessly for 10 improvement.  The doctor gave a second vial in Miles' arm.  Another 10 minutes...Cassie is sobbing, Miles is maybe doing least he's breathing between the screams.  Things were awfully tense that first 30 minutes.  Lots of prayer and then it seemed like he was going to be ok.  Thank you God!  We waited another hour after the 4th vial of antivenin, and he fell into a deep exhausted sleep.  The doctor said he would have a rough 2-3 days after that, "It's like being hit by a train!" He said before we left.  There was a part of me that was dreading paying the bill for the saving of my son's life, but Cassie took all the kids to the car, and I went to pay.  The total bill was $135 pesos ($7.50 USD).  Wow.  Thank you God.  I still can't believe it.  He is mighty to save!

The week after our 'scorpion-man's' recovery, we had to cross the border to renew our visas.  We had a YWAM Together meeting in Kansas City, MO and the kids got to stay the week with the grandparents.  That was such a blessing.  We learned so much about the national direction of YWAM and the importance of getting the gospel spread to every people, tribe, tongue, and nation. After the YWAM meeting we returned to Amarillo. What a wonderful visit with Cassie's folks and my parents as well.  I had to finish my continuing education for the optometry license, and there was a meeting in Ruidoso, NM.  Dad has a wonderful boss that shared his cabin with us and we took full advantage of it!

When we returned at the end of September, it was 'back to work' time.  We've had plenty to do outside the campus with the local villagers around us, and even more to do to get this place back up and running.  We've repaired a beautiful fountain that has not functioned for 5 years, a well that had been dried up, a septic system (yuck), numerous leaks, hot water issues, carbon monoxide venting, hvac repair on our walk-in freezer, chopping down trees, and Michael has been finding lizards everywhere!

I have been having breakfast (one-on-one) on Monday's with one child at a time, and we have cherished these moments.  It has given us the opportunity to share the Gospel with our favorite waiter, Nacho, too!  He has asked us for prayers for his belief and that of his family as well.  We also began blessing our children each Saturday night around the dinner table.  Marcus calls this "Family Fun Night", and we basically go around to each child telling them the wonderful truth about them and making sure we have apologize for any wrongs we have done to them.  This, humbling, experience has been a blessing to me as well as them.  Lord, may I never forget that my family is the primary mission that you have given Cassie and I.

We must train them up the way they should go, and they will know You by our love.

Dec 9, 2016

Dear Mr. Elf on the Shelf

Dear Mr. Elf on the Shelf,

Thank you so much for your diligent observance my children's' behavior. Thank you for showing up in funny, and sometimes inappropriate, places and bringing a smile to the faces of many, young and old, this time of year.

But, I have some bad news for you, my friend.

Christmas isn't about how good or bad my kids are. The gifts of Christmas don't depend on what they do, or what they say. Those precious gifts have nothing to do with whether they are right or wrong, good or bad, naughty or nice.

In fact, the worst of children are able to freely receive the gifts of Christmas.

Even the ones that scratch their hiney hole INSIDE of their underwear, and blow their stank morning breath in your face before breakfast, just to see the shudder on your face.

The ones that raise their eyebrows in distain at the mere existence their little brother.

Children who sneak candy after they've brushed their teeth, and then lie about it in the morning.

The ones who scream out mean names to their sister and threaten to never talk to her again because she is "SO STINKING RUDE!"

The ones who have hate in their heart.

The ones who are bitter . . . and angry.

The children who are self-absorbed and unrelenting.

The truth you need to know, you little red minion of Mr. Clause, is this:

Christmas is about the goodness of God, not about the goodness of children. 

 So, I'm sorry to tell you, you are completely unnecessary. In fact, you totally turn Christmas upside down and inside out (kind of like my son's underwear).

If you would like to be useful, please use your time to tell children about the goodness of God, instead of telling Santa about the goodness of children.


Cassie Haney

The Struggle is Real: Legalism & Christian Living

Where do I even begin with this topic?

First, let me say this: living on a Christian Missionary Campus is THE PERFECT SETUP for legalistic Christianity. Many who come here are looking to the people here to see if they are 'holy' enough to be a missionary. Are they 'good' enough? Do their kids act 'right' enough? The men don't have long hair do they? Tattoos? Piercings? They don't listen to secular music, of course! Pokemon?? No way, those are little devils you know! The women aren't gossips, are they? Lazy? They don't get frustrated with their children, who are perfect and only watch G rated movies of course!

Although it's not hard to see how we get to this terrible, paralyzing place of slavery to 'right living'. I know I've been there, it's a slippery slope! It's the place where in my heart I truly want to serve and honor God, so I give up some stuff in my life. I might change the station I listen to, or start wearing more modest clothes. I might take up reading my Bible a little more often, or do any number of things to try to show my God that I am His, that I love Him, and that I want to live for Him.

Uh oh! Now I have something to be proud of don't I?? "I turned my life around because I love God so much. What did you do? I don't say that word or do that thing, but you do . . . maybe I love God more than you?"


Here is the truth: I didn't turn my life around at all! Jesus turned my life around because He is so nice and good. He took pity on me because I was in dire straights, headed for destruction and He had mercy on me!

Lord, may I never forget where you brought me from . . . or think that I could have done it on my own! Forgive me for passing judgement on others!

Dare I say that the Pharisee leader's legalistic way of 'running' the church was Jesus' biggest pet peeve? Did anything else anger him so? Did anyone else (except maybe Peter "Get behind me Satan") cause him to speak so strongly?

The great burden the Pharisee leaders put on the Jews was so heavy, so burdensome, and so NOT in sync with the God that they 'served'. The Bible gives us many examples: "come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest", "cast all your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you", and "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free".

I truly believe the Lord does not want us to live burdened lives! We should be the most free, lightest, non-burdened creatures on the globe. All of our sins are forgiven and paid for. They are far away from us, and they can't find us out. How do we make God feel when we hand our burden over to him just to pick up a new one?

Please hear my heart here, I understand how tricky this is . . . the line is very, very thin.

When we become freed by Jesus, there SHOULD be a change in our lives! We SHOULD become 'better'. We SHOULD be compelled to start doing some things and stop doing others . . . out of a place of gratitude and affection for our Savior. We must, however, be so careful not to delude ourselves into the lie that we are better than someone else because of what we do or don't do. We are no better or worse than any other. Often our 'goodness' feels diminishing and demeaning to those around us . . . and that's not 'good' at all.

Legalism: Demeaning, demolishing, and diminishing by being a 'good' person.

My friend Jennifer wrote an awesome blog about the "Lure of Legalisme" here.