“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3 NIV).

Spinning is a popular form of exercise almost everywhere now. Although, in my neighborhood, spinning has a totally different connotation.

When I hear the word spinning, I immediately visualize a gym with a spinning class. Don’t you? But in my neighborhood, bicycles are not used for exercise per se. Yes, they are a means of exercise for my neighbors, but their primary purpose is to provide transportation by spinning to and from their alfalfa fields before sunrise.

As I watch my neighbors spinning by my house in the early mornings, I sometimes long to take a spin with them. Not to help them cut alfalfa but to stop my fruitless spinning and set my priorities on these people I came to serve, instead of focusing on the 100 things on my to-do list for the day.

When I step down from the merry-go-round of life, I find refreshment from being with God’s people and enjoy His beauty around me. I focus on the reason God has me here in this place of service (Bolivia)—to spread the Good News. It’s not easy to step off that merry-go-round. Some days I keep on spinning, and some days I wobble as I come to a halt. However, it is always possible.

Each day is a new opportunity for service. It’s easy to allow each day’s tasks (our plans) to keep us from God’s checklist for the day. But, when we ask God to establish our plans (to-do list) and take control of our spinning, He will establish our to-do lists and prioritize our days. Everything will change when we commit our plans to Him. The spinning out of control will cease, and our days will be fruitful and calm.

Try and see. The verse says He will—not He might. He keeps His promises.

Peggy Cunningham and her husband Chuck have been missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. In 1999, they founded Rumi Rancho Ministries. Rumi Rancho is their ministry base and home outside the city of Cochabamba where they work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also a published author of children’s books and women’s devotionals. Shape Your Soul is her latest devotional book for women. Learn more at www.PeggyCunningham.com.

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Where is home? Is it where your family lives? Where your work’s located? How do you find the comfort of home? Do you sometimes feel out of place?

Living in two cultures brings a sense of not belonging anywhere. I not only live in a foreign country but also in a Quechua village in Bolivia where three cultures and three languages collide—making the mix even more interesting. Feeling out of place is an understatement. Yet, somehow I am at home.

When I arrive in the States for furlough, I feel at home. I can speak English, my mother tongue. Yay! My friends wear what I wear––well, once I get to a store and update my look. Then comes a new haircut. Yes, friends make sure I get where I need to go for this new look. I look the part, but am I at home? Yes! Why? How can I be at home in two different countries and still not fit into either one? The answer is simple.

I’m at home because I am where God wants me to be. I am in His will. “Home” is being in God’s will. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33 NIV).

In God’s will, we have a proper place of belonging––with a warm spark of home in our hearts. One day we’ll arrive in our forever home. Until then, we find a home in the center of God’s will.

Are you in your proper place?

Peggy Cunningham and her husband are missionaries in Bolivia, South America. They work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also an author. Her children’s books and devotionals include Shape Your Soul, 31 Exercises of Faith that Move Mountains, a women’s devotional. Visit  www.PeggyCunningham.com.

 

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I the Lord, do not change” (Malachi 3:6 NIV).

Tumultuous circumstances jolted me out of my usual schedule. My routine changed drastically on a rainy Sunday morning. A call from our neighbors woke me from a deep sleep.

“Your classrooms are flooding!”

Torrential rains caused the river over the mountain to rush into the valley irrigation ditch that runs behind our property and overflow downward directly into our classroom building on our mission base––narrowly missing our house. Shocked at the sight of six inches of water in the classrooms, my husband and I splashed our way through and commenced the task of cleanup.

All changed that day…week—our plans, our meals, and our priorities. We focused on the task of cleanup. We worked hard and swished the water out of the building with mops and brooms––room by room. Then the scrubbing began, and the airing out, and checking for damage. What a lesson for my life.

Clean up my life daily and focus on priorities. 

I’d been busy with things––people, problems, and goals. My focus had changed to earthly things, not eternal things. God uses circumstances, His Word, and others to teach us His ways––or bring our focus back to Him. Now, water will always remind me to focus on God and His plans when hard things flood my life.

The buildings shine once more, but more importantly, my focus changed. First and always, we should strive to focus on God. Unlike circumstances, people, or possessions that change, God never changes.

We get distracted from time to time, and we’re out of focus.

But looking to the One who never changes puts everything back in focus.

If we adjust the lens of our lives daily, we stay focused on God’s vision––a fresh focus every day.

Peggy Cunningham and her husband are missionaries in Bolivia, South America. They work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is author of several children’s books and devotionals. Her latest book is a women’s devotional Shape Your Soul—31 Exercises of Faith that Move Mountains.  www.PeggyCunningham.com .

 

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What are your secret talents?

“And the special gift of ministry you received…keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible” (2 Timothy 1:6-7 MSG).

Peggy Cunningham working with children

I think my secret talent is related to my hair––blonde with streaks of white. Can hair be a secret talent? Maybe. But…maybe it’s not my hair that’s a secret talent. Perhaps it’s what my hair can do––attract little girls like a magic magnet.

Living in a country where blondes are not seen often, little girls stared and smiled at me. I accredited all the little girls’ attraction to my hair––and being a tall blonde––a sight rarely seen in Bolivia. When I first noticed this secret talent, it opened doors to ministry with little girls, especially during Sunday School hours.

When my daughter was a small child, her hair attracted attention on the streets of Bolivia. Whenever we walked around the city where we lived, people constantly touched her long, curly blonde hair. Since my aging brought with it bottled blonde hair with white streaks, I, too, became a rarely seen sight. But then, something else entered into my secret talent.

On furloughs, I also noticed this happening in the States where blonde hair is not unusual. Being a children’s writer, I’ve always connected with children—but not in such a magical way as I do with little girls. When I meet or talk with little girls, I automatically talk on their level and so love being with them. I truly believe God has given me a special gift of ministry with children—a secret talent—especially working with little girls. It’s so much fun!

God gives us all special talents and gifts and uses them for His Kingdom. They can be fun, too. What’s your special gift of ministry—your secret talent?

Peggy Cunningham and her husband are missionaries in Bolivia, South America. They work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is the author of several children’s books and devotionals. Her latest book is Shape Your Soul—31 Exercises of Faith that Move Mountains, a women’s devotional. Visit  www.PeggyCunningham.com.

 

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Do you ever wish for more time in the day? God can do that––extend your time. He did do it. The Bible says so.

“The sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies” (Joshua 10:13 NIV). God still does miracles today. Maybe the sun won’t stand still, but we can find more time to shine. He can do a miracle in our life so that He shines through us, letting others see His miracles in us.

How to make that happen:

Realize. What is our spirituality?

It is God in us—serving each other and the world. How many miracles do we miss because we don’t believe the Lord? Worse yet, we don’t always realize the miracles God performs for us because we aren’t aware of Him in every aspect of our life. Joshua believed God to defeat the enemy. He realized God existed. We can start the day defeated before our feet hit the floor, or we can rise and shine––and realize His existence and power daily.

Reflect. Whom do we reflect?

So many verses talk about God’s face shining on us. The Psalmist says, “Make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees” (Psalm 119:135 NIV). He wanted to be close to God and learn about Him. When we spend time in the Word, we learn of God’s teachings––His decrees. Applying those teachings changes our life. It’s then we reflect His shining face and others see Christ in us. When I apply moisturizer in the morning, my face shines. But as the day progresses, it loses its shine. Applying more moisturizer brings back the shine.

Rest. Rest assured, if we keep reading and applying God’s Word, our lives will shine continuously.

Apply God’s moisturizer all day (His Word) and let Him shine!

Peggy Cunningham and her husband have been missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. They work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also a prolific writer. Books one and two of her children’s series, Hooray for Holidays, recently released. Her devotional for adults is Dancing Like Bees. For more visit http://www.peggycunningham.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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