Friday, December 30, 2011

An Unlikely Treasure—God Sees Differently


Good Afternoon dear Readers. I feel great today! Today in particular I felt like blogging before I busy myself up. I want to give you, my lovely friends, an update and something to inspire you as well. Who doesn't want to get inspired, right? I myself get inspired by your blog posts and as God has placed in my heart, I'd love to give back. You see, a certain topic has been bouncing off the top of my head and I just can't wait to share it with you: How God transforms something ordinary into something rather extraordinary! And so...let the story unfold...


One Night With the King: The Story of Esther





Oofuh! Let me just blow the dust off of my imaginary ancient bible. Many, many, many years ago, in a country called Persia (Babylon), there was a king named Xerxes and a queen named Vashti. King Xerxes ordered his wife Vashti to appear before him at a party so that he could display her beauty for all to see. When she refused, the king was furious.
In case that wasn't bad enough, a horrible man named Haman was one of the King's advisers. Haman warned the king that if word got around, all wives would disrespect their husbands in the same manner. At Haman's urging, King Xerxes ordered that his wife be "banished."
King Xerxes, with Haman's advice, ordered a search through the kingdom for a beautiful virgin girl to be his bride. These women underwent tedious beauty tests, just like a Ms. America Pageant. It wasn't too long before the King's scouts happened upon Esther. Esther was beautiful, gracious and kind -- just what the king was looking for.  After she won the King's favor, Esther was married to the king Xerxes.








Now Esther was a Jew. The Jews had been driven out of Israel, their home, about 70 years before and exiled in Persia. Although they did there best to make a living in this strange land, they prayed that someday they would be able to return to their home. Esther's uncle Mordechai, was the leader of the Jews. Mordechai encouraged Esther to hide her faith from the King and his advisers, which she did.



Haman had, by this time, become a powerful man in the kingdom - Prime Minister of Persia in fact. He decided that given his rise in power, it would be appropriate for everyone to bow down to him. But Mordechai refused to bow down to a man. Haman was very angry and asked the King to authorize a royal decree to annihilate the Jews.







Haman cast lots to determine the day this was to happen. And so it was decreed that in Adar of the coming year, on the 13th day of the month, all the Jews were to be killed, in every province and every nation of the land. There would be no place to run, and no place to hide.

This is where our courageous Queen Esther comes into the picture -- Mordechai, having found out about Haman's evil intentions, sent Esther a message. He told her what Haman was plotting and asked her to go to the King on the Jews behalf.

Esther was terribly afraid. She hadn't been allowed to see the King for a month. In fact, no one could see him without being invited. But she fasted and prayed for three days, mustered up her courage and went to see the king. Her exact words were, "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish" Esther 4:16. Although he was initially angry at her, King Xerxes spared her life and offered "half [his] kingdom for [her] wishes,"



All she asked was that the King and Haman join her for dinner that night.
As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, "Now what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted." Esther replied, "My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king's question." Of course, both the King and Haman agreed to attend a second banquet with the lovely young Queen.

Haman was very pleased that he'd been asked to dine with Achashveyrosh and Esther two nights in a row and was filled with pride. But then he saw Mordecai at the king's gate and still Mordecai refused to bow to him. Haman was filled with rage. He decided that night to build a gallows with which to hang Mordechai and planned to speak to the king about it the very next morning. That way, he'd have the whole matter dealt with during the day and be able to enjoy the next evening's banquet in peace.
That same night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. The book was turned to the day Mordecai exposed a plot to assassinate the King. The King was reminded of this tale and asked what reward Mordecai had received. The king's attendants told him that nothing had been done for Mordecai.

The next morning, just as Haman was arriving to ask that Mordecai be hanged the king asked him, "What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?" Haman, still filled with pride, mistakenly thought the king was referring to him. So he answered the king, "For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king's most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, `This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!'"
Imagine Haman's embarrassed face when the King commanded, "Go at once. Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king's gate." Haman obeyed. He was very upset that Mordecai, his enemy, was being honored by the king. Immediately after leading Mordecai around the city proclaiming, "This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!", Haman had to go to the banquet with the King and Queen.
 
Finally Esther shared the secret of her faith and proclaimed herself a Jew. She begged the king to spare her people. Harbona, one of the king's attendants told the king of the gallows that Haman had built to have Mordecai hanged. The king was furious with Haman and ordered that he be hanged on those gallows. Haman's pride and cruelty had led to his own destruction and the brave, young Esther had saved her people.



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At first Glance, to many, Esther might have looked average. Just like any other "Jewish" girl but she was not. In God's eyes she was a brave hero, while she herself probably looked in the mirror and saw a frightened young nobody. Because Esther feared and obeyed God, she saved the lives of her beloved people. Did Jesus not do the same for us? The difference here is that God did not spill her blood. God honored Esther because like David, she did not fight greatly... she believed greatly. What must she have felt in those trying moments of life and death? We too face moments in our lives where we have to make a decision: Are we going to listen to what God commands us to do or are we going to run from the call? Like Esther, we must have faith that our God will come through for us. Yes, our situation may seem impossible and, yes, it might seem like there is no hope but...we serve the true and living God who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. A God, like the word says, who is not a man to lie nor a son of man to change His mind. If He said that He would never leave then He will never leave us;However, it's up to us to believe. Like Esther was told that if she did not obey God she would either way perish, we will also face worse things if we do not obey God. He would never let us suffer without He Himself being there on the other side to comfort us, but we have to be brave and go forth in the name of the most powerful God in whatever we do or face. You and I might think of ourselves as ordinary but God sees differently. And what God sees is far more important than what man sees.


(1 Samuel 16:7) But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bundle Of Hope



Once upon a time, approximately 2,000 years ago, there lived an extremely powerful King. Now this king was not just any ruler, oh no, no, no, He was the ruler of the entire universe. Creator of every star, planet, space, and pebble. He owned it all. One day however, he looked down from His thrown and saw that His people had gone completely astray. They were so lost, committing indecent acts, that he became angered and hurt. You see, His very own people had forgotten about the King's rules and commandments. The King could no longer watch, who He called His children, perish. They were blind and destined to go to hell. Powerful and merciful as this King was, he knew the answer to the problem because he had planned it ages ago. He new this sad day would come when his people would turn away and forget about His love and compassion. So worried about His children, the King went himself in the form of man to save man. The best part of Him went: His Son...the prince.

Born out of the womb of human being the King's son walked amongst the people who hated and despised His father's ways. How hard for the prince to see these things but deep down He knew His mission. He knew why He was sent to earth-- To Save! This babe was given the most important name in all of history. Such a name brings healing and restoration. Such a name brings comfort and peace. Such a name makes the demons tremble and flee. His name was, continues to be, and will always be JESUS. And for all of those who call upon His name and accept Him into their hearts as the son of God, He continues to do the very same sacrifice. The day that Jesus Christ was born into this world was the day that my hope was born. We had no hopes of life until Jesus. So many times has the story been told but so few times has it been understood my the hearts of men. The reason we breathe every morning and the reason why we believe is in Christ alone. (John 3:16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

Let us all never forget what matters most on Christmas. Gift giving is beautiful but always keep in your hearts that one gift will always remain and that is Jesus. (Isaiah 9:2) The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. His grace is enough for us all. Never forget. Nunca te olvides. (Isaiah 9:6) For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


I encourage you to enjoy the holidays with your families and to be the one who lets Christ shine on the special day. May God bless you all friends and if you'd like to join my family and I, At 12:00 on Christmas eve we will be grabbing our guitar and worshipping God for the huge bundle of hope that he sent us many years ago. We're going to be praising the living Christ because he is no longer on the cross but alive in our hearts and in His throne of glory! Merry, merry Christmas to you all and may the Lord continue to bless you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not-So-Much Plain Jane


Today was one of those pajama-wearing, bible-reading, and alone-time-spending kind of days. I love my alone time...I think every human being needs it now and again, that is, if we want to stay sane. Dead-set on spending time with my true love (God of course) I grabbed my sister's awesome tricked out teen girl's bible in hopes of discovering some inspirational women. I've really been thinking and reflecting on the kind of women I want to be known as. I mean, the day I get married I want to give the best of me but now and forever I want to give all I am to God. I've really been giving this a lot of thought. Deborah is known for her leadership and Hannah for her commitment and unfailing faith but, what am I known for. You see I don't just want to be a nobody...I want to touch God's heart and forever leave a legacy that will make Him proud. One woman who really inspired me was Jael. If you'd like to read the story you can find it in Judges 4.

Deborah, a prophetess and leader, told Barak that she had everything under control so that he could deal with Sisera because the Lord wanted to rescue the Israelites. Barak refused to go unless Deborah herself accompanied him and she answered:

“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.”

There Deborah prophesied that a women would receive the credit for killing Sisera. War broke loose and the Lord caused Sisera to flee, and as Barak chased him, he ended up taking refuge in the tent of a woman named Jael. Because there was an alliance Sisera trusted her to hide him, but Jael was wiser and was able to to do what Barak himself did not. She killed him. The prophecy that God had given Deborah came to pass because God delivered Sisera into the hands of Jael.

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Sometimes many of us girls might feel like Jael. We feel unnoticed or like plain Janes, but that's not what God sees. He uses the most unexpected people to fool the wise and receive glory. Wow! How amazing is that?! If you read along you'll also see that God gives a tribute to her through Deborah's song. Yes, Deborah ended the great victory with worship!

What I hope to get across by sharing this story is: don't feel like you're too simple or ordinary for God to use. If you do feel this way then you are exactly the kind of person that the Lord wants to use! How awesome is that? The girl that nobody noticed was the girl that God used to take out an oppressor. While everyone else fought with swords, she fought with her wit and the backing of the Lord. If you thought that you weren't anything special I hope you learned from Jael's story. I sure did. You see, God wants to use us...all of us. Whether we're a Deborah, a Hannah, or a Jael, God wants to use us and has a special purpose for each and every one of us. So like I stated before, I don't want to be interpreted as a plain Jane because according to God I'm so not and neither are you.

I want to be known for my love of God, passion for worshipping, artsy talents, funny sense of humor, maturity, sensibility, understanding, and heart.                                                              

I am who I amGod's daughter. And that is definitely enough...it's everything!

(Psalm 139: 13-14) For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bold And Unashamed!


Hello to all, as promised I am back from exams and with very good news, as also promised. The Lord is faithful! My Psychology Exam went really good and I was completely overjoyed when my American Heritage Professor passed out the Frederick Douglas Essay I had submitted last week. The book, first of all was touching and heart-wrenching. The unfaltering faith of this slave made my heart grow more and more at the turn of every page. The point of the assignment was to "Explain how Frederick Douglas viewed his life" and my main argument was that he viewed his life not through the size and outlook of his slave-holders and society, but through the Eyes of God. He no longer saw himself as a captive but as a free man because to God he was a free and much loved son. I don't know if I caused my professor or student teacher to reflect on a few things but I know the grace of God was with me because I received a 150/150 = 100! The Lord, once again came through for me.
Love you God!

Here's a little excerpt from my essay:
All of his new found knowledge comes from reading and in a sense causes Douglas to experience freedom of the mind, because although the earth labels him as a captive, his thought and his faith provide an open door into liberty. Douglas no longer settles for the life of slavery he has always known because now he understands the word of God that his masters manipulate to excuse the horrific punishments that they inflict upon their slaves. Douglass distinguishes and draws the line between religion and true Christianity as he states, “in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise” (75).

Well, my advice for you today my friends is to not be ashamed to show off who you really are no matter where you go. Sometimes it can be intimidating to talk about Christ in a term paper that gives the opportunity to do so because of the ruff and tough outer-exterior of professors but...go for it. Pray before doing so, so that God can inspire the proper words. Do something different and most importantly don't be ashamed. The word of God says in (Mark 8:38) "If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." I don't blame Jesus for saying this at all. Can you imagine? The son of the most powerful and majestic king of all the nations leaves the comfort of his loving home in order to come to a land where by most he is despised. He no longer wears his crown for all to see and dresses in what some wealthy people might call rags under the identity as the son of a carpenter (so teased some people). The Innocent son of a king sacrifices his life and blameless reputation in order to brutally die for a nation that rejected and wrongly judged him. To this day this nation continues to do so and at one point we were all participants in this horrid act until the Lord, in his abundant grace, opened our eyes. We need not be ashamed of our king or the prince of peace that saved our souls because this is not fare to Him. So I say, we might be able to escape the embarrassment of testifying about Jesus in front of our "friends" or certain crowds but there will come a day when we will be in the presence of the Lord's crowds who will all be ashamed of those who laughed at Jesus, their prince and king. If anyone reads this and knows that they they boldly represent the kingdom of God then congrats! I hope to see the day when every knee bows down to our savior and together we offer Him our worship and undivided attention. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving: A Grateful Heart


Greetings friends! I hope everyone had a blessed thanksgiving! Yesterday was a great day- I got to spend time with those I love and took many trips down memory lane with a very special someone. This morning I woke up and began to really ponder over the things I am grateful for and how sometimes I might only say thank you do God for those obviously important people and things in my life, but...I want to dig deeper...I have too. God's done so many wonderful things for me that might even go unnoticed. Kind of like those prayers that He answers that we forget ever asking. I don't ever want to forget...God is faithful! You are faithful Lord and you keep all of your promises. I just want to take this time to thank the Lord for those special and subtle petitions He's answered and blessed me with: they might not make since because it's sort of an inside-prayer type of thing between God and I but I'm sure someone out there could relate to some of these thank yous.

(Psalm 136:1) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.

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Thank you Lord for our first encounter. That day when you found me where I was and took me in your arms and promised to never leave me. Thank you for your sacrifice Jesus...for my salvation...where would I be without You?...Lost...completely lost and lonely, in need of You father. Thanks so much for placing me in the right place because many months ago I made a prayer to you in church for You to transition me and transport me like a chair where You wanted me to be. Like always you kept your promise! Thank you for being with me in those times when I felt so sensitive and fragile like a glass vase. I felt like I couldn't take the pain...I didn't want to sing anymore. It wasn't your fault! What was I thinking at that time, feeling like You'd abandoned me. You didn't. You watched as I helplessly fought to breathe through those agonizing tears and gasps of air. You broke through the silence, through the sadness in my heart and gave me once again a reason to live for. Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving be the ability to praise You, God, with my voice. Thank you for accepting my life song! I love you for putting by my side my best friend on this earth and for allowing us to praise you together. When the notes of my heart and strokes on his guitar meet our worship becomes the best part of us that we can give You. Thank you because I'm not alone. Thank you because you've not only given me family in Christ to love but for the family You have given me that lives to serve you. Thank you for that day in the bathroom when I asked you for a favor asked as a simple joke between me and I- You made it happen. My parents were blessed that day in church. Thank you. If I kept going Lord, I think Blogger would run out of text space because I could go on and on. You've done so many things, oh so many things. I want to say thank you for the little big things that You do for me: Thanks a bunch for the parking space you had ready for me at school, You know how close I was to being late for UNIV and how badly I didn't not want to walk all the way from where I was "supposed" to park. Hee hee. Thank you! Gracias Padre santo! Many many thanks for helping me exactly afford that package of scan trons right before my American Heritage quiz. Whew! That was a close call. Thank you. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that you've given me to meet these new teens at the church that you have Daniel and I worshipping in. I just want to ask you for one thing before I go on and I know that You are listening: Please guard their hearts...they've gone through so much and they need you to show them Your way. They're willing to worship you Father but a pray for a complete transformation in their life to the point that they are filled with so much love that they no longer remember their past. Keep them safe always Lord...Thank You.
All that I have thanked you for father is just a tiny truffle of what You deserve to hear, God, but all of this comes from me and from the bottom to top of a grateful heart. Thank You.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Things:God's Promises


Updatesupdatesupdates!!! My mind is so full and stocked up with information that if my brain was a waterfall it would definitely be breaking through and flowing out at ridiculous speeds. The Lord keeps all of his promises and more than that he exceeds our own expectations!

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This whole week has been full of blessing. So much blessing. Daniel and I have been performing at this church that our Psalmist School instructor provided us with and have been instructing the other band members, (who are so awesome!) all to glorify the Lord. There have been some challenges (as was expected) but the holy spirit always has us one step ahead. I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am and how great it feels to worship God with a full band filled with youth who seek to glorify the Lord as well. By the grace of God, for right now I'm the first voice but I am training the pianist to sing with me because Daniel and I know that this is not the ministry God has for us, it's a mission that has been given to us. We've been holding practices for now three times a week to prepare ourselves and so far have been improving tremendously thanks to God.

On another note, the Psalmist school is having a Christmas Concert and Joel is looking for two singers from the school in our area to record his christmas CD with him! Oh my Lord! I've decided to just give it to God and give it all I got no matter what happens. I know that if it's His will for me it'll come to be, and if it just doesn't happen I'll be happy for whoever God has that opportunity destined for. Pray for me though!

(Isaiah 61:1-3) The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

I'll keep you guys posted!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Worshiping Through A One-Way Mirror



According to Google, a one-way mirror is partially reflective and partially transparent. When one side of the mirror is brightly lit the other side is dark, it allows viewing from the darkened side but not from the other side. We've all seen those old black and white or Lifetime movies where one detective interrogates a suspect while his or her partner is sitting in the dark room behind the one-way mirror. An Example would be the scene in Ella Enchanted, when Prince Char's  evil uncle is watching them both from behind the one-way mirror: He can see Ella and Char but they can't see him. A one-way mirror is a type of deceptive trick but also very useful for the one utilizing it. As a Psalmist and Worshiper the Lord has shown me that we tend to put on this act as if nobody is watching us. Sometimes unintentionally, but other times...not so much. Even if you don't sing or play an instrument God has still called you to worship, not necessarily by picking up a mike but through the way you live, what you say, how you treat others. Hopefully however, if you are reading this you do sing or play for God because my examples might make more sense to you. You see, God is searching for worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth and one thing out of the many great things I learned from Joel, my Psalmist School instructor, this week is that, "many are called, but few are chosen." If we look around our neighborhoods and churches and turn on our T.V's we will see many "worshippers" who have been called but few of all of those have been chosen. When many go to an audition a couple get call backs and then even fewer are chosen for roles. God's looking for those who are guided by the Holy Spirit and who listen to His voice. The sweet voice of God.  

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As worshipers who worship in truth we find ourselves in that interrogation room because we are naked before the eyes of God because He knows us and sees us just as we are. He sees the depths of our hearts, every cavern He knows by memory. We can be playing our instrument or singing on stage, while we hide something deep in our hearts. Our faces may not show it and our attitudes might disguise it but The Lord knows, He knows and all He wants is for us to come clean before Him. Jesus is our lawyer, He made a way for us to have access to our Father and now nothing in earth nor in heaven can separate us from Him. While the enemy condemns us and interrogates us to bring up what we try to bury Jesus watches on the other side of that mirror and steps in to our defense right on time. Because of Jesus our worship is accepted and it is justified. He made a way. We keep worshipping thinking that nobody knows what lies deep within our hearts. Suddenly when people start talking about us and our brothers and sisters in Christ start judging us, Jesus, our lawyer, comes in to the scene and starts asking us to confide in him. He wants us to tell Him and confess so that He can defend us before the ultimate judge: God. We hesitate...we just can't bear it. Jesus, our loving and self-less lawyer, comforts us and assures us that He's going to defend us no matter what. It's hard to get up and sing Sunday morning or praise the Lord in front of friends knowing that you've messed up yesterday, but the beautiful thing is that we have Jesus. That doesn't mean that we're going to go all willy nilly and just sin uncontrollably  No, no, that means that we recognize that life is a constant battle but each day we have to decide to kneel and ask for forgiveness and for the Holy Spirit to guide our every move. The devil and the world is not our judge, God is...and our defense lawyer will never fail us. Thank you Jesus!!! Because of you our worship is accepted. Never stop worshiping but do pray to have your heart in the right place because a worshipper not only connects with God, but helps others connect as well. What are we reflecting? Like I said before, all of you worshipers out there keep praising the Lord in spirit and in truth. My respects and many blessings always.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Secret Place: The Garden




In the natural sense, all of us have this special little corner, secret hideout, or place of refuge that we have created: That grassy area beneath an oak tree, the quiet nook in the library, or even that old picnic table at the park. For some of us a simple swing or even our own rooms fit the description. We all crave for that private time for ourselves to do what we like when we like. Personally, my comfy zone is my room because I can just curl up in my bed, grab my turquoise blanket and watch a movie, write a song, or read the word of God. Just like we kill for this spending time in our own little world, as does Christ. He longs for our attention...He longs to sit with us beneath the tree or talk with us as we gaze up at the midnight sky. Oh how lovely is the love our God wants to share with us. Oh how precious the time He wants to give us. The only thing that He needs to do this is our heart and our time. Jesus gave it all, all that a person can give(His life), so that we would turn His way and fall in love with Him. He's like that secret admirer that goes unnoticed. We don't realize we love Him until He's gone. Christ died so that we could see the greatest love story unfold before our very eyes. That "perfect" relationship can only be found in His eyes...in His warm embrace...in His presence.

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Spiritually, our hearts contain this secret place, this garden that is visited by the Lord. Our garden prospers as we listen to the word of God because (John 4:14) says "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” This water gives life to our flowers and trees that were once little seeds waiting to grow. Are you ready for the Lord to visit your Garden? How have you kept it? Have you been fruitful? The thing is, I use to dread these questions when I was asked them in the past because I knew that the garden in my heart needed work. Sometimes our gardens are filled with weeds and are all dried up--we permit sin to just take over our secret place with the Lord. How can He meet with us if we haven't readied our hearts? The day that I had a personal encounter with God I knew that I had some sprucing up to do in this garden. I had to get rid of those things that didn't please the Lord: the words that came out of my mouth, the music I listened to...etc. Time passed and my garden began to bloom and produce fruit. My garden was ready for the Lord to enter and I longed to spend time with Him.

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This is the special place that God wants to spend time with us in:

(Song of Solomon 4:16) Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. The Lord, our beloved, waits for us to let Him in to our garden. Our secret place. God wants that intimate time with us so that we can get to know Him. For how can we serve someone who we do not know? When we let the Lord in and start spending that alone and craved time with him we begin to really fall in love with our savior and our knight in shining armor.
(Song of Solomon 6:2) "My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to pasture his flock in the gardens, and to gather lilies." Once God spends that time with us He begins to see what lies in our hearts and spends time looking out our fruit: what we have done with the purpose He has given us and how we have used the time that He has provided us with. Is your garden ready? Start spending that time with the Lord so that He can guide you and just love on you! He wants to just hold you and show you new things every day. His purpose for our lives is so special but we have to continually care for our garden inside our hearts. Above all things the Lord wants us to guard our hearts for there is where He wants to live and spend time with us.

*~*~*

(Jeremiah 31:12) Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. When we share our secret place with God we welcome in His love, joy, peace, happiness, and presence. Let's all tend to our gardens and make sure that each time the Lord arrives, they are ready and beautiful for Him. Keep going to your favorite chill spot but this time, set a place for twoone for you and one for God. Ask him to join you. I know deep in my heart that nothing would bring Him greater joy than to spend time with the one's He so dearly lovesYou and me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tenacity


Tenacity: being persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired.

Greetings to all! So Many exciting things happened this week...For instance...I went with my mom and my boyfriend, Daniel, to a prayer group meeting and we were greeted by a group of prophets that had come in from up north. The older women who prayed for me spoke her prophetic word over me in English. She had a gentle voice and a polite charm about her. The woman told me that God revealed to her that I had a tenacious spirit about me...it was a gift that God had given me. She went on to say that I gave my all in everything and wasn't the type of person that waited for doors to openI knocked them down. The prophet then whispered that she could see that I was a "rescuer" and that I was going to rescue many people...even animals. The last thing said was that I had to be prepared in the word so that I could know what to say when I help those people. Tears flooded my eyes and I looked up at the ceiling saying, "thank you Lord" over and over.I couldn't believe the word spoken over me. I knew that God had used that kind woman to let me know that I wasn't imagining things.

You see...the past few days I had been seeing these film strips in my head, or visions, of a youth rehab center: there, I was offering treatment plans for teens that involved learning how to play instruments, singing, and animal therapy. A few days before I saw this, my mom, sister, and I took a trip to the Christian Bookshop and I stumbled upon a book called "Hope Rising" by Kim Meeder that compiled various testimonies of children and teens who were changed through equine, horse, therapy. This book touched and continues to touch my heart. All of this combined made me feel overwhelmed in the good kinda way. I had an ah ha! moment and I couldn't help but smile at the wonders of my Lord and Savior! His plan for me is just beginning! Sometimes our surrounding situations make us feel like we're not useful but God uses these types of remarkably odd moments in our lives to say, "Yes, you're important to me. And yes, you matter!" I love you too God...con todo mi corazon!


On another note...my daddy came home from Dallas on Wednesday. We were all so happy to have him back. The whole "girls night in thing" was so much fun but sadly, all things must come to an end. The day after my dad left, the three of us drove to the Christian Bookshop and bought a couple of discount books for me, a fasting book for my mommy, and a teen girls bible for Angie, which I thought was adorable. When we got home just us girls shifted on over to the circular black table outside our front door. The breeze was lovely so we took advantage of the nice weather to spread the word of God amongst ourselves as well as pass along a piece of yummy banana bread. It was super fun! I read over the story of King Josaphat: His army was handed the victory by God against his enemies because the king trusted in the words of God and praised Him all the way to the fighting grounds. They didn't even have to fight because God had given them the Victory because of their faith and devotion.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Faith Is Believing In What You Can't See


Here I am in the Arts and Humanities Building...my own private little corner. I love it here! I've got my yummy snack (Cheetos and a Rice Krispie Treat) and I'm good to go. I've got a couple of things to share but I'm going to start off with a testimony.

First of all let me just say that the God I serve is merciful and trustworthy. These are things that as Christians we might all know but it's different when your faith is actually tested and then rewarded. I had spent all day Friday typing away so that I could turn in a paper for peer review. This was for my 1301 English class. I was "suppose" to copy and past my work onto Google Docs. Of course though, me being a freshmen in college, I start panicking and crying when my work gets completely messed up! Half of my paper erased and the remaining text was full of strange symbols (One could say that Google wasn't my favorite site at that point). All I could do was PRAY that the Lord would help me...that He would spontaneously make a miracle happen. After literally hours of copying and pasting the 5 o'clock deadline rolled around and I completely drowned in a river of my own tears. By FAITH I turned off my laptop, closed my eyes, and prayed again, and again, and again. I told God, "I trust You Lord and I know that everything is going to be okay." I walked away, knowing that my God had never failed me before and that He would never do so. (Psalm 25:1-5)In you, LORD my God, I put my trust. I trust in you;do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. The thing about the devil is that He uses any means necessary to but us to shame or to try to ruin our reputation, but the word of God says that those you hope or trust in God will not be put to shame. God's got our backs and is doing His part, but the real question is--Are we doing ours? Are we putting our complete faith in God? The definition of faith is believing in something you can't see! We can't see God but by faith we know He's real. We can't see our ministry prosper but by faith we give it to God and know that it's coming in the name of Jesus! God has great plans for His children...for us, but we have to keep the faith.

Sunday morning...I logged onto my Google Docs account and tried to open up my paper again and...... It was perfect! There was nothing wrong with my paper. There were no strange symbols and the whole essay was in tact. Glory to God! The God that I serve will never let me be put to shame for my hope is in "Jehova Mi Dios!" Remember: the reason that the enemy wants to ruin our reps is because then he'll be making God and His children look bad. The way that we as Christians combat this is by keeping our eyes fixed on the Lord and His word. If we walk in truth than no lies that people concoct against us will prosper. The enemy will have no choice but to retreat. (Ephesians 6:12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Our real battle is not against the friends, family, or people that try to hurt us, but against the devil. The best part is that we've got God on our side and no form of evil will prosper over our lives, but we've got to do our part. We've got to exercise our faith.

*~*~*

In other news, My dad is off to Dallas TX for three whole days to take my grandpa to the hospital so it's just us girls: my Mom, younger sister, and me. This should be fun, and knowing us we're probably going to watch movies and pop some popcorn. I really hope it rains! I love rainy movie nights. They're my fav! And best of all I have no homework so I can dedicate some time to my Lord and read His word. On the next post I'll be sharing what I'm learning in Psalmist school...it's so interesting. and full of revelation. I'm in love with worshipping my Lord and Savior. I'll keep you guys posted about what's going on but for now I have to bid everyone good day....I'm off the English!
God Bless!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Busy Serenity—The Art Of Letting Go!


Thank God.
Well...this week has been draining yet at the same time amazing. I love the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a long day. School offered me a challenge this week but I managed to finish gracefully because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I love love love college! I have such a passion for what God has presented me with. I had gone to public school my whole life but I honestly have to say that I love College way more. I like the long walks to class early in the morning and the sense of freedom in the air as I walk to the library or to my favorite place: the Arts and Humanities building. Every day during my lunch break I grab a little snack and then make my way toward a desk in the corner and start typing or studying away.

*~*~*

The biggest news for this week is that God totally opened my eyes into a different career...it's still in the Rehabilitation branch though. I originally wanted to be an architect in high school but then God led me into the path of Occupational Therapy. I prayed for so long until I finally just said, "You know what God? I trust you and I'm just gonna let you guide me and take me where you want to take me. Just point me to the door." He keeps opening those doors for me and on Friday, I just walked through another one. After my mid-morning American Heritage class I walked on over to this Major's Fair that the school was throwing in the university ballroom.

*~*~*

For a good while I'd been feeling this burning calling within me towards some form of counseling career, but I knew for sure I didn't want to be a Psychologist. I let God be God. He pointed me into the direction of the Rehab booth and I began to converse with this really nice man about what I was majoring in and the type of job I wanted. He began to say that their was a certain rehab field I could specialize in called Addiction Studies. It was perfect...this was the answer to months of prayer.

God willing, I hope to first get my bachelors in Rehab and then after those four years get my masters in Addiction Studies so that I can become an Addiction/Rehab Counselor for teens. I don't know what God has in store for me later on in the future but all I know is that my life is in good hands. I trust you Lord...with everything!

*~*~*

Psalmist school, or as we say here in the valley, Escuela de Salmistas, was great! I sang a different song this time and the prof. helped me get in touch with my soulful middle voice. My advice to anyone is: first pray...and then get out there! The world goes beyond our own homes or even the front gate, and if we don't take the time to discover it, we'll be missing out on the things God has in store for us. Next time a friend invites you to eat, just Go! Next time you're invited to someone else's youth group...Go! You never know what type of special blessings God has in store for you if you don't leave the comfort of your room. The Lord's message needs to be spread and it begins with us...(Romans 10:14) But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  If there's one thing I've learned it's that BIG things happen when we get down on our knees and PRAY. Thank you Jesus. I will sing of your love forever. And that's exactly what I'm going to do in a little bit...worship. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Puzzle Piece


I can't even begin to explain how joyous I feel at this very moment . Yesterday at 5:30 I had my first class in the school of Psalmists (Joel Levi's Escuela de Salmistas) and by the end I felt like I had eaten a (spiritual) banquet . For a good while I had been feeling like the puzzle piece that just didn't fit anywhere, until I finally fit into place . I felt like for once people understood me and the things I had gone through...they could relate . I feel God's hand moving in my life because He's showing me that His purpose for my life was never on pause, He was just "provoking a song out of me ." I learned that I have this song within me that I hide in a treasure chest that God is trying to work out of me . In vocal class, I walked in a little late because of the distance from my college to the church, everyone was lying on the floor and performing vocal exercises . By the time we sat at the table and were told to pick a song and sing in front of everyone, surprisingly, I didn't panic . Thank the Lord . I walked up to the front and sang From the Inside out in Spanish, and then I got help with my breathing because as I was accustomed, I tried to sing two verses with four seconds worth of breath (not a good idea hee hee) . I learned so much and I am truly grateful . My vocal teacher made the treasure chest reference and said that when I decide to let my voice out that it will be of blessing and it will surprise those around me . I wanted to cry but I decided to contain myself...However I did cry during the devotional (a time of worship and prayer) because God used the man who prayed for me to tell me "worship, worship Him, He wants you to worship Him...You've been laughed at and the ministry that God has placed in you has been laughed at, but he wants you to keep worshipping Him." Well as you can imagine of course I burst into tears and was liberated of so much excess luggage that I had to let go of. I learned so much in this one day to last a lifetime, and to think that I'm going to be receiving these teachings every week makes me feel like just collapsing on the floor and saying thank you. I'm so thankful to God that words cannot express how I feel, and He's so understanding that He knows my words before I even speak them. I love you God..............................This new adventure is a process in the making and I'm ready to take it. With God, all things are possible and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I now am firm in who I am and know that God has a purpose for my life far greater than I can imagine for his ways are not my ways and he never abandons the work of his hands...He completes His purpose in you and puts you where He wants you and where He knows you belong. Thank you Jesus.......my puzzle piece fits and this is just the beginning.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Discovering Me


Rain: so beautiful and gentle .
I've always thought that when it rains, it means that God's tears are whipping the dirt off the earth . I tend to view things with a touch of symbolism . Has anyone else noticed the fresh and clean smell after it rains? I compare this to how our sins were just poured on over Christ . The rain is a gift from our father up above who just reminds us that His son paid the price so that our sins could be washed away, just like the rain water drags away all excess waste down the sewage drains .

Just yesterday I felt like God washed away so many things that had been bothering me . For a second, (OK more than a second) I had forgotten who I was in Christ . I had gotten so caught up on what people say and think of me that I lost sight of how special I am to God . I just learned that this happens when the enemy wants to rob your identity and leave you feeling like your dreams and the promises God has for you are a lie . After the people I love reminded me of this, well... of course I had to change a few things about my outlook on my situation . Number one, I have to get my confidence back...and number two...I definitely have to keep praising God no matter what anyone else thinks . How to do this? First of all so much prayer and secondly I need to get out there and stop being shy . I mean, God didn't give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7) . In fact, on Thursday my mom invited me to a prayer group with her but I had said no because I had just gotten out of college and I wanted to rest . Well it turns out that all of a sudden I felt God just tug at my heart and say that He had something waiting for me at that very place . I called my mom for the address, got in the car, and drove like my life depended on it . When God wants you to do something you don't ask you just go, knowing He has something special for you . Once there, I sat down while they prayed for every single person. And by the end, Daniel (my boyfriend) and I got to sing and play "su gloria esta aqui" by En Espiritu y en Verdad. But wait folks, that wasn't the surprise. No no, the surprise that God had in store for me was that after the meeting ended a man came up Daniel and me and asked us if we were interested in playing at a park with another band next Saturday. Wow...there's no doubt that God loves me and is always trying to show it . I mean wow, really? I'm so excited but I have a tendency not to show it in public. Which from this moment on has to stop! I should add that to the list of things to do .

 I'm slowly discovering myself again (if that makes any sense) . For instance, yesterday I started painting again and put together a cross and want to continue to make more to raise money for our band (Banda Cielo Abierto) I had a really nice, relaxing time just listening to music, conversing with God, and painting . I even cracked open my bible and read the book of Titus while I waited for the base coat of paint to dry. If you scroll down you can see some pics of the cross . It made me feel so happy that I dedicated time to God again, and I want to continue to do it, because we all need that personal relationship with Him that makes us stronger and fulfilled .

This journey/ discovery is one that I personally am going on to bring out the best in me . On Tuesday I start Salmista School at my church and I just wanna really go for it and meet new people, you know? Honestly it's hard to find Christian friends who will always be there for you, but like I said this is a journey of self-discovery . I'm ready to just give it all I have for God and put my dreams in His hands. And again I confess: (2 Timothy 1:6-7) For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands . For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline ." I'll keep you guys posted and if I can give any advice to y'all...never believe the lies that people say about you, and always remember that your true value isn't measured by what people say, but by the price that Jesus paid. That's how much we're worth . And if you've ever been hurt in any kind of ministry, from personal experience, I can say forgive because God has bigger things for you than you can imagine . And this I can also say from personal experience  (Jeremiah 29:11) For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This verse does give me hope and always keeps me trusting in him . There's been times when I didn't even want to sing anymore but God wouldn't have it. He picked me up, healed my broken heart, and gave me the joy for singing again. That kind of joy that I can only compare to the air I breathe. Praising and worshipping God for me is like the blood that keeps my heart pumping. It's all for Christ and His Glory. God bless and well....here I go!
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