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.

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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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