This is the view from the street.
Unbelievable Oak tree!
These are some diagrams of the original compound. The small structure top right is the church.
An actual cannon used in the Battle of the Alamo
We finally headed back to our hotel, exhausted. We stopped at a few shops, and grabbed a cheap supper at McDonald's. We were both SO worn out, we kind of limped back to our room. It was about an hour from the time we got our supper. We've been awake about 22 hours now, except for our nap! :)
I was recently given the privilege of teaching in our monthly ladies' meeting. A subject immediately came to mind since it has been my focus all of this year. The Lord kept confirming the direction.
I have been saved since I was very young and raised in a Christian home. I was home schooled, then attended a Bible college. I married before graduation so I was always very sheltered. I did all the "right" things, made all the "right" decisions. And that is the way God means for it to be.
But because my "outside" was formed very young, some decisions I never had to make. Not once in my life have I got up on a Sunday morning and wondered if I would go to church or not, or a Wednesday. I never questioned if I should join the choir, or attend special events. But in all the hustle and bustle of ministry, sometimes I would just go through the motions and leave my heart out. I mean, I'm the assistant pastor's wife, people expect things of me. But that is the wrong attitude.
Deuteronomy 28:47-48 says, "Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee."
When I don't serve the Lord from my heart, I experience hunger, thirst, nakedness and want of all things… in a spiritual way. When I am not happy, I know I'm not serving the Lord, I'm serving something else because His yoke is easy and His burden light.
It's so easy to just go through the motions because it's your "job" to teach a Sunday School class, or go on visitation, or come to choir practice. And there will be many days when we don't feel like doing it, but we should anyway. That just shouldn't be the norm. "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men." It should be for the Lord and nothing else. Isn't He worth it? Don't I owe Him?
It's been said that this is a basic of life, and it is. It's very basic. But even more, it is essential. If I can't learn to serve God from the heart, keeping my eyes on Him, then I'll always fail. If I have my eyes on others, I will always be miserable because I cannot please everybody. But I can please Him. He says in Psalm 147:11, "The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him…" I can't please people, but I can please God. I think that's amazing!
You would think that with my childhood days, this would come naturally for me, but I'm in the thick of learning right now. I'm having to learn it because I get discouraged so easily, feeling jealous over others' talents, worrying about what people expect of me, trying to be the best and be noticed. It's simpler just to look to the Lord and serve Him with all my heart. His yoke is easy and His burden is light!