Not Much Different

I had just finished working and I needed to go home and rest. LaDonna and Franklin were waiting for me. I was tired and ready to call it a day. I had one last thing to do, get a taxi and get home. So I walked to the end of the road from the church office and waited a minute or two and finally flagged down a taxi. I got in, greeted the taxi driver and told him where he needed to go. He seemed confused as to where we needed to go so I told him I would direct him. Off we went. It only took a few feet of rolling down the road to realize that this taxi was not in good shape. I don’t think there were any shocks, joints on the car clicked, it wobbled, a muffler was just for show, and there was a constant clanging of metal from somewhere in engine compartment. In America, this car would have been in a junkyard years ago (or used in a demolition derby).

I live three minutes by car from the church office. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it home and I am not one easily shaken. That day though, I shook with the force of a thousand milk-shakes. As we rode along, I continued to direct the taxi driver and then a thought occurred to me, ‘I am not much different from this taxi’. I have flaws and seem to just wobble down the spiritual road. However, God met me. I let him in my heart. He paid a fee to be able to be in my “taxi.” In doing so, I let him guide me even when I don’t understand where I’m going.

Keeping Up

“Pff…typical.”

“Their house looks like a magazine.”

“Oh, these people are always traveling to exotic places!”

“Wow. They’re really ahead of us in life.”

STOP IT.

Just stop. Right now. You know what you’re doing.

Comparisons drive us nuts. Well, at least they drive me nuts so I’m assuming it drives you crazy too. I must admit that recently, I’ve been falling victim to myself. I’ve said all of the above, either out loud or in my head. The one that has a tendency to get me the most is the “ahead in life” comment. The truth is, you are where you are in life because that’s where God has you. Sometimes it’s hard to accept what God has given you in life. Things get hard. Life slaps you around a bit. You whine, complain and cry out to God, “Why me?!” The truth is, God has you. He always has, He always will.

As much as I want to sit around and complain, it does me no good. So here is my solution for the comparison conniption.

1. Be Thankful

I always begin my prayers with thanking God for all that he has done for me.  After that, I usually pray about my needs and/or wants. I feel like it’s really important to remind yourself of how blessed you really are, even when you don’t feel like it.

2. Be Humble

After being thankful, I always feel humbled. My troubles seem quite trivial compared to others. Also, being humble has a way of making you feel content.

3. Be Generous

Giving is fun. Often times I am reluctant to give because I feel that I need the money more than whoever I’m giving to. When it comes down to it, it’s God’s money anyway. So, when I feel the urge to give, I do it.

4. Be Hard Working

When I see myself heading down the comparison or jealousy road, I always try and remember that those people who are rich and have everything, worked for it. You won’t find a leader or wealthy person who hasn’t worked hard for it. Working hard also helps you feel accomplished. While I may not have made millions of dollars today, I did finish all the work I had on my plate and it feels just as good.

5. Be Awesome

Remember that you are awesome. Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, ‘I. AM. AWESOME.’ Why? Well, because you are. God made you. That makes you awesome.

A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body;
    jealousy is like cancer in the bones.

– Proverbs 14:30 (NLT) – 

Light On, Light Off

24 hours off. 12 hours on. You may be wondering why we talk about blackouts and “light off” sometimes. Or you may be saying, “Why is the power always out for Mike and LaDonna?” I’ve asked myself the same questions…just kidding. Let me give you some insight: A lot of the power in Ghana is generated from lake Volta dam in the northern region. Everything else is powered by petrol and coal. ECG (Electricity Company of Ghana) is the supplier. It’s owned by the government but is its own entity. The government owes ECG millions of dollars for unpaid for electricity. So, ECG sells the electricity to neighboring countries to make back some of this deficit. In doing so, they need to cut the power locally to carry the extra load. Additionally, a few power plants are not operating so this makes things worse. This is why we have scheduled blackouts and frequent power outages. This is also the reason so many have generators at their homes. However the generators are meant to be used for short periods of time and not as a total substitute for power. So, even if you had a good one, you’d have to turn it off every so often to let it rest.

-M

Puzzle Pieces

I find everything about my two month old son remarkable. Now, I know there’s some pride in there (“My baby is the best baby of all the babies, ever. I have spoken.”). In all seriousness, he is remarkable. I remember our doctor telling us that he knows God exists because the odds of becoming pregnant, even in normal healthy people, are astounding. He said the fact that it happens at all is just incredible. So many little things have to happen. Every piece and part has to be just right. The timing has to be perfect. This makes my son, in my mind, remarkable.

This extends to genetics as well. I see so many pieces and parts so beautifully blended from my wife’s heritage and mine. He has my wife’s smile, pouty lip, eyes, feet, and height. He’s so tall at two months. Twenty-four inches! That certainly didn’t come from my side of the family. Most people say he looks just like me. I disagree. He looks a bit more like my wife than me. At the same time, he’s got pieces of me scattered through there. I see it from time to time. But what is so great, is that he’s his own person too. He has his own unique look. I call it adorably handsome. You got good genes kid.

All this to say that it’s amazing that God can bring together all the pieces of the puzzle of our life at the right time. His time. I look back and see how the pieces fit but looking forward it’s a little hard to see. I’m so grateful for a God that knows where each piece goes. It increases my faith to know that He’s always there.

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT)

Newsletter Update – April 2014

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Dear Friends,

IMG_6786We apologize that you have not heard from us in a while- we’ve been busy welcoming our son Franklin Campbell Cunsolo in to the world! Being a parent is the greatest joy we’ve known and we are enjoying every minute of it.

Thanks to a generous response, we were able to purchase our tickets to Ghana. We depart the States on June 2nd. With only 55 days until our departure, we have begun the packing process. We hope to ship some of our larger belongings and furniture ahead of us and the rest we’re going to fit in our six trunks! Besides the necessary personal items, we’re also stocking up on some of our favorite foods such as coffee, spices, and cake mixes.

In addition to Mike’s work as Communications Director for Agape House New Testament Church, we have also been asked to run a guest house. This guest house will facilitate both short term interns, visitors from the US, and missions teams. This means we will need to find a house big enough to accomodate a large number of guests. Please be praying with us that God will lead us to the right home. We are so excited for this additional opportunity to serve and look forward to meeting new and exciting people.

Please keep us in your prayers as we begin the final stages of our move. We have a lot of little details that need to come together in order to make this transition smooth. An overseas move is daunting enough on it’s own! Doing it with a newborn takes the challenge to a new level. Please pray that Franklin’s passport and visa will be ready in time. We are also still in need of monthly support. We would like to ask you to please prayerfully consider partnering with us with either a one time donation or a monthly commitment. We look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions (or packing tips) please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

Sincerely,

Mike & LaDonna

Donate Today! Select “Account 501 (Cunsolo)”

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