I believe God guided me to the home I reside in, the men who built it, and the small, rural, desert community it is a part of.

The house is less than a mile off the extended runway of the local airport, which is home to SkyDive Arizona, arguably the number one skydiving facility in the world.  Mrs. tVM and I spend afternoons in the backyard counting parachutes as they open far above us.  I take a daily bike ride to the SkyDive facility.  It gives me energy.

With little light and noise pollution, we’ve abandoned TV in favor of stargazing in the evening.  Sunrise and moonrise are inspiring.

Dawn Over the Sleeping Indian

We moved in on September 28.

This will be my final home.

I met the builder on Palm Sunday, April 10 this year.  His name is Abel.  His father’s name is Abel.  Abel is friendly and unassuming.  He claims to be 57-years old; I think he is 47.  His right-hand man is his cousin Daniel Antonio; he responds to either name – Daniel or Tony.  Daniel is a pastor.  Together with their extended family, they build houses, quality houses.

After a handful of face-to-face conversations and agreeing to a price and a date of completion, Mrs. tVM and I contracted the house with Abel on a handshake.

Abel is a Christian in actions, words, and deeds.  We put our trust in him, his family, and his crew.  They begin each day with a prayer before the first nail is pounded.

My friend of 40 years is building a house next door.  Abel is the contractor.

The other day, I noticed penciled words and numbers on sections of the framing lumber on my friend’s house.  It didn’t occur to me what they represented.  “Salmo 91” did not register with me.  Abel smiled when I asked him about it.

“Your house, this house, and every house we build is built on prayer.  Tony writes Bible verses throughout each house we build.”

I finally got it: “Juan” is John; “Hebreos” is Hebrews; “Hechos” is Acts, etc. – books of scripture written in Spanish.

As I reflect on Daniel’s act of writing spiritual verses on the framing lumber of each house, it gives me great satisfaction and a strong sense of security in the house they built for me.  As I abide in my house, I am always reminded of where my blessings come from.  I am grateful.

Mitakuye Oyasin

Click the arrow to reveal the words…

John 1 1 7
John 1:1-7 - In the Beginning Was the Word
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.

Psalm 91
Psalm 91 - The Lord Is My Refuge
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Hebrews 4:12
Hebrew 4:12 - The Word of God Is Alive
4 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

John 3:1-8
John 3:1-8 - Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Acts 2:38-39
Acts 2:38-39 – The Promise
2 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

Isaiah 53:1-9
Isaiah 53:1-9 – Surely he took up our pain
53 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Acts 4:11-12
Acts 4:11-12 – the Cornerstone
4 11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Psalm 27
Psalm 27 – The Stronghold of my life
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. 4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. 7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. 8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. 9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. 11 Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. 13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

John 5:20
John 5:20 – Be amazed
5 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.

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  1. I talked a while with Pastor Jesus this morning. Jesus is pastor for the Spanish speaking congregation at the site where I teach ESL classes. He also teaches seminary classes for other Spanish speaking ministers and potential ministers. His class is Interpreting the Bible. He said his students get really excited about interpreting well the Scriptures. I started reading the Bible in Spanish when doing Christian mission work in Puerto Rico with university students. I have been reading through the Bible in Spanish now for over 40 years. It was inspiring to hear about the contractor who built your house.