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Yucatan - Part 4

       One of the extra benefits of sowing the gospel seed is seeing different cultures close up and personal that one might never have experienced otherwise. The Apostle Paul visited several countries and cities during his missionary journey. He was able to see the buildings of Athens and preached to the Epicurean and Stoic Philosophers in Areopagus. He also visited and peached in Italy, Cyprus, Syria and Turkey.  

       I was fortunate enough to see many sites of interest during the several trips I took to Yucatan. Although the brethren in Tizimin have a baptistery on the church property, they enjoy taking rented vans and driving the 20 miles to the Gulf of Mexico for their baptisms. They take a picnic and swim in the chest-high warm water after the baptisms. On one trip after we had swum for 30 minutes or so, I asked them what the nearby fishermen caught. Their answer shocked me and scared me at the same time. Tiburones ( sharks) they answered casually.  

       Another time we decided to swim in a shaded lagoon near the beach. As we returned and crossed a bridge, I noticed a sign which told the name of the river that empties into the lagoon---Lagartos (alligators). 

Spiritually speaking, I wonder how many Christians are swimming casually in Satan’s waters. The devil and his allies lurk like lagartos and tiburones waiting to destroy us eternally. The farther one swims from the lifeguard of our soul, (Jo 14:6) the greater and more certain will be the attack (1 Pe 5:8) If I had known the dangers of those Gulf waters and still chosen to arrogantly swim close to those predators, it might have ended very differently. If a Christian chooses to spiritually swim away from his or her brethren and the Lord, there is no more hope for them (Heb 6:4-6) (Heb 10:27). 

       The largest flamingo preserve in the Americas with up to 45,000 birds is located on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Felipe took Darlene and me on a tour to the nesting area of these large and colorful birds. Surprisingly, these birds are mostly white until they start feasting on the shrimp in the shallow sea pools. The more they eat, the pinker the feathers. Under their huge wings, the feathers are black. They have long skinny legs and webbed feet. They have a long-curved beak for fishing while the head is completely submerged.

       There are some similarities between the flamingo and Christians.

Except for the beautiful pink color, the flamingo is an ugly, awkward looking animal. A lot of us can relate to that. God, however, looks much deeper. He looks at the inner person, the soul (1 Sam 16:7). As we take in more and more of His wisdom, we can begin to glow in His sight. As the flamingo submerges its whole head under water searching for life-sustaining shrimp, so should we search the scriptures for the soul’s salvation (1Pe 1:10) (1 Pe 2:2)     -Jim Bailey

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