Friday, April 30, 2010

Lyrical Friday & getting owned!

Hi Everyone!
Before we get into Lyrical Friday, I wanted to blog a little about what the Lord has been showing me. He busted me earlier this week and the only way that I can describe it (thanks to my friend Chris) is that I was totally, wholly and completely OWNED by the Lord. And let me just tell you, being owned by the Lord is a pretty sweet feeling, lol.
For those of you just joining the blog (girls from Westood Wood Christian a big welcome) here is a little history to get you up to date, and by no means do I share this lightly. The SHORT and sweet version: I battle a struggle with Anorexia, mostly fighting thoughts to not relapse. Praise be to God who leads me in triumph continually and guards my steps, only by His strength am I kept whole. I am also a self proclaimed shopaholic. I know this sounds absurd to include this in the same category of struggles, but I love to shop. I'm not too sure if it is Satan himself who sets up the sales traps or if they are amazing God sent sale opportunities... or maybe it's just me!

Everyone faces trials, times of difficulty and seasons of mourning; we all cope differently. When things spiral out of control in my life, as they have the last two weeks, the dark cloud of Anorexia comes over me and does not depart. My thoughts are quickly consumed with this self destructive, self inflicted sin. Being aware of this "cloud" and not desiring to fall in to temptation I run to my comfort zone, to my place of hiding place, no, not God but to shopping. I have noticed that I have not be a wise stewardess of GOD'S money... that's right, I just said that, God's money. I have even thanked Him for the new items of clothing I purchased and for the wonderful gifts I bought. Each item purchased felt like a great accomplishment. Allow me to explain, shopping is more than an even exchange, for me it is therapeutic in a sense. My mind is distracted from the thoughts, the pain, the trial. It feels right to shop but it is only pleasurable for a moment. Shopping is a cheap cover up but not a permanent solution. Soon after the guilt sinks in and an overwhelming feeling of failure.

This past Wednesday as I was working on my HEAL lesson I came across this, "Go to God with your needs- not guys, food, retail therapy, or anything else to fill your emotionally and spiritually." Busted! I continued and came across this one verse, and I was confronted even more with my two areas of weakness: Luke 12:23, "Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing." AHH! Say What?! I had to do a double take. A verse, just for me. God is faithful, He quickly gave me words of comfort, life and hope: Luke 12:32, "Do not fear, Raquel, for it is My good pleasure to give you the kingdom." I felt so dumb... it is so easy to not trust God and become spritually crippled. Going first to God would have been the best solution, however, I took matter into my weak hands.

It is by daily drawing near to Jesus and embracing him as the One who can put us in right standing with God the Father that we are set upon the path of authentic healing. -Allie Marie Smith

All this to say that I am utterly humbled and surrendered to Jesus- again! Thanks be to God who gives joy, hope and life abundantly after failure. That same day He gave me a scripture, a crutch to lean on, a promise to hold on to: Isaiah 40:29, "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength." May we never shy away from experiencing the warm embrace from the God of all comforts. Let us run to Him first and always. 

Anywho, today's song is a deep cry of my heart. My prayer is that both you and I would be a people who are fully surrendered to Jesus our Lord. My prayer is that through our lives, other's would see God in His glorious splendor. Let hope arise and darkness tremble in His holy light! 

(please pause the media player on the sidebar)
With EverythingJoel Houston

Open our eyes
To see the things that make Your heart cry
To be the church that You would desire
Your light to be seen

Break down our pride
And all the walls we've built up inside
Our earthly crowns and all our desires
We lay at Your feet

Let hope rise And darkness tremble
In Your holy light That every eye will see
Jesus our God Great and mighty to be praised

God of all days
Glorious in all of Your ways
Oh the majesty the wonder and grace
In the light of Your Name

With everything With everything
We will shout for Your glory
With everything With everything
We will shout forth Your praise

Our hearts they cry
Be glorified
Be lifted high above all names
For You our King
With everything
We will shout forth Your praise

Monday, April 26, 2010

Love that wilt not let me go

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
~ George Matheson

Matheson's cry has become the cry of my heart.
Lord Jesus, I yield my flickering torch to You.

Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lyrical Friday & A Great Legacy

Hi everyone.
I haven’t blogged for a week now. I don’t know where to begin; therefore I’ll just start anywhere. Last Saturday, April 17th, my Aunt Norma went to be with the Lord. This has been a tough week, emotionally drained and physically tired. Death is just one of those life experiences that I will never truly comprehend, does anyone?

My Aunt was genuinely sweet, loving, caring and generous person. She never complained to anyone about anything. She never spoke ill about another person. And above all, she loved Jesus with all her heart, with all her might and with all her soul. I am confident that she is rejoicing in the presence of the very God she loved so dearly. She left a great legacy.

God gave me a wonderful gift. He so graciously gave me a year to really get to know her, truly. In the beautiful process of rediscovering my new found relationship with her, I not only knew her as my Aunt but as a Friend. Each doctor’s appointment was more like a date, dates where we would spend lots of time talking about God, life and well just about anything. Each chemo session, though daunting, presented another opportunity to draw closer to one another. She taught me to never give up, for the battle and victory belong to the Lord.

Today’s Lyrical Friday song was God sent. As I was driving yesterday this song came up on the radio. I believe that God is not only my Healer but He was also Tia Norma’s Healer. Though her healing did not come in a physical, miraculous form, I do believe that God’s healing for her was her departure from Earth to Heaven. What better cure than the complete healing of no more treatments, no more medicine, no more hospitals, no more suffering, no more pain, no more tears and no more weight of sin. He held her every moment, He calmed her raging seas, He walked her through fire and healed all her disease.

Healer, Kari Jobe

You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease

I trust in You
I trust in You

I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe You're my portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus, You're all I need

Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible for You

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4

And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. James 5:15

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Let all that you do be done with love. 1 Corinthians 16:14

And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; it shall rejoice in His salvation. Psalm 35:9

This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life. Psalm 119:50

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. Psalm 126:5

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lyrical Friday - Beautiful

Happy Friday!
Today's song can pretty much sum up where I am with the Lord. I find myself in a place where all I can say is, "Lord, You truly are beautiful." His love is amazing. His faithfulness is wonderful. He is beautiful, majestic in all His ways. May this song become the prayer of your heart and the praise upon your lips.

Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, 
So is my beloved among the sons. 
      I sat down in his shade with great delight, 
      And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
Song of Songs 2:3

(pause the media player on the sidebar)
Beautiful,written by Samuel Lane but the video below is by Jesus Culture.

I need You like the rain
Come to me and sing again
I long for Your love so much
I've wanted Your pure touch

You are beautiful, beautiful
You're beautiful, beautiful
So beautiful, so beautiful

I need You to be here
Come to me, I can feel You near
I love You, You are my hope
You love me as Your own

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

adversity, darkness, weakness, uncertainty- CHECK!

I went to church tonight and it was exactly what the doctor prescribed... or would have prescribed had I consulted a doctor. We are wrapping up a series on the life of King David titled, "How 2: __________." Tonight's teaching is the first of a three part teaching brilliantly titled, "How 2: Finish Well." We read ALL 51 verses of 2 Samuel 22 (read it, awesome stuff). Here are the four key points:
1. In adversity, God is our anchor
2. In darkness, God is our light
3. In weakness, God is our strength
4. In uncertainty, God is our hope

As I shared in my previous post, my Aunt is in the hospital, in other words: I am going through adversity in the darkness where I feel terribly weak and uncertain about every minute that is to come... yes, this sermon was for me! God is awesome, increadibly faithful and timely. Thank You Jesus for reminding me that You will see me and my family through this!

Sometimes God will give us only enough light to see our next few steps, not a search light like we often hope for. - Pedro Garcia

The most predictable thing about live is that it is unpredictable. -Pedro Garcia

Never be afraid to trust an unkown future to a known God. -Corrie Ten Boom

And he said:
"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence."
2 Samuel 22:2-3... really read the whole chapter by clicking here!

* If you would like to hear the teaching go to

Monday, April 12, 2010

current status: trusting & waiting

hi dear friends.

At the moment I find myself with writers block. My Aunt has been very ill, fighting cancer and being in the hospital. I covet your prayers for her and our family. It hasn't been easy but God and His word are unfailing and a very present help in time of need. I am trusting the promises in His Word. I am believing that His will for my Aunt is perfect and good. I wait upon the Lord being still and knowing that He is God.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“ For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
“ For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:8-11

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.
Isaiah 26:3-4

Waiting on the Lord is never easy, and sometimes we don't have a choice but to wait. Thankfully we have His word to help us.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lyrical Friday - I Will Wait For You There

Hi Everyone!
I pray that today's song would ignite within you a desire for more of Jesus. I encourage you to set a date with God. Rotic moments are the best! (Rotic is romantic without the man, hehe)

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you... James 4:8

(Pause the music player on the sidebar)
I Will Wait For You There, Phil Wickham

I will wait for You there
Down on my knees where I met You
Give You all of my cares
Find a grace to hold onto now
I’m calling for You

I will wait for You there
far from the world and it’s violence
It left broken and bare
I need to hear You in the silence now
I’m calling for You

And with outstretched arms
I will sing out melodies
And my beating heart
Will pour out a symphony
Hallelujah’s in the morning
Hallelujah’s in the night
I will wait for you as long as I have life

I will wait for You there
Down On my knees where I met you
Cause life is a war fought with tears
But You are the strength I hold onto now
I’m calling for you

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Flames from James

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. -James 2:15-17

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

painting.... eggs!

Hi my lovely Readers.
Last night I was blessed to have been invited to my first egg painting party. I'll be honest with you, I thought it was kinda dorky. Being Hispanic, egg painting is not something we do period, especially for fun. That would be deserving of a chancleta* slap followed by a, "Se ve que no tienen nada mejor que hacer." Translation: Obviously, you have nothing better to do. But because it was my awesome church family that was going to get together, I put my preconceived notions aside and went. I had a blast! I never knew that egg painting could be so much fun. Yes, I just said that. It was a great time of fellowship and sweet laughter as I painted eggs with my church folks.

So Raquel, why blog about this? Not gonna lie, I wanted to share my Ninja egg with you (the one on the right). But God, He gave me a wonderful picture of Psalm 139, Ephesians 2:10, Isaiah 62:3 and Isaiah 61:10 last night.
~ Even there Your hand shall lead me,
and Your right hand shall hold me.
~For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus...
~You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD...
 ~...For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness...

Just as I held each egg in my hand: I took my time in creating each detail, I specifically chose which color each egg would be, not one egg was the same, and when done painting eggs I looked at each one with a smile on my face (even the funny looking ones). I even showed off my eggs. It didn't hit me till later that we like those eggs are also being held in the hands of God, He fashions and forms us, He clothes us, He takes His time with us, we are not like anyone else, we are wonderfully made, a one of a kind piece of God.

I am guilty, in the past, of complaining and questioning God as to why I have go through certain trials.  My Ninja egg was left in the blue color tub for a long time in order to get that color, yet had it not been for my egg spending a good 20+ minutes (that is a long time in egg time) in the tub it would not have that beautiful blue color that everyone praised... I am reminded of Romans 8:28 and 2 Corinthians 3:18: God works all things for out for our good and transforms us from glory to glory into His perfect image. God desires to show off the work of His hands to the world, in other words, He wants to do a new work in you and display you for all to see what He can do with a life fully surrendered to His hands. Even the trials, the valleys and the ugly truth of our past can be used.

Never, in a million years would I have thought that painting eggs was both fun and insightful! I only wish I would have taken a picture of all the eggs once they were finished. All diverse in their design but each was a reflection of their creator, wonderfully made. We are all diverse in our make up, personalitlies and talents yet we each, when living life for Jesus, reflect our Creator. You are wonderfully made!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm Singing

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.-Isaiah 12:2

Happy Monday!
Watch this video and be of good cheer. Though the valley may seem intimidating, dark and unending the joy of the Lord be your strength. May this verse in Isaiah and this video minister to you today and encourage you tomorrow. God Bless YOU!

Here is mine: I am on the road to recovery, the Lord is my strength and my song. I am singing.

What is yours?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

HEAL Journey- lesson one

Time sure flies. Yesterday I met with the Youth Discipleship for our HEAL Journey study. We finished Lesson One: You Are Wonderfully Made. Personally, the study was challenging, convicting and liberating. Here is a glimpse:

“Being wonderfully made means that you have a Maker- a Maker who made you and made you beautifully; a Maker who loves you and knows you, has amazing doe you, and longs to reveal to you your value and worth as His daughter.”
“We are God’s little miracles… his children… wholly and dearly loved.”

“As daughters of God we are made to live in the light, but too often we opt for the darkness either because it’s familiar and safe or because we’re ashamed of our secrets. When it comes to interactions with food, many of us are experts at hiding things. But the reality is, while we might be able to hide our secrets from the people in our lives, we can’t hide from God.”

Last quote… “We live in a world that threatens our relationship with God. We are surrounded by counterfeits that claim to be the answer to what our hearts are seeking. But He is the only One who can truly satisfy our hungry hearts.”

Good stuff, huh?!

Going back to the group, we had an awesome time. We were extremely blessed with an incredibly delicious breakfast provided by one of the Moms. Our guest speaker was none other than my best friend Andrea aka Nana (you can read our story here). She shared her “wonderfully made” story with the girls and encouraged them with two great verses: Ephesians 2:10* and 2 Corinthians 12:9*. I asked each guest speaker to prepare an activity and Nana taught the girls how to prepare their own homemade facial/body scrubs. The girls enjoyed that so much. We then dived into our group study. I am in awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness towards us as I read Psalm 139*. Each girl shared what being wonderfully made means to them. It was a time of both boldness and healing as we each shared our weaknesses. It was also a time of refreshing as God’s precious Spirit filled us afresh and anew with the promises found in His word.

Goodie Bags!
Gift giving is definitely my love language, so naturally I prepared them another goodie bag. This bag included two items:
1. Play-Doh: to paint the picture that God holds us in His hands, molding us to be all that He created us to be.
2. Gel Eye Mask: (double meaning for this one) A. Incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is produced resting and waiting on the Lord. B. These eye masks can be used either hot to help relax or cold to help refresh but left to be used lukewarm would do absolutely nothing, therefore the application is to be either hot or cold but not lukewarm.

Keep praying for these wonderfully made youth girls as they embark on lesson two of their HEAL Journey. Have a beautiful week. Enjoy your life, the abundant life found in Jesus Christ.

* Click here for Ephesians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 139

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lyrical Friday - We Will Not Be Silent

Hi Everyone.
I am very excited about today's Lyrical Friday. I met Alabaster Box a few years back. They came to the Singles Ministry at my church. It was a great blessing having them live. I had never heard of them and since then I am a faithful follower- this band is sold out for the Lord, that is why I love them so much. Aussies are so much fun and being from Australia their cool vibe is contagious. Today's song is 'We Will Not Be Silent.' If you really enjoy this song, I invite you to check out more of Alabaster Box click here for their website. They are also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Oh and Itunes has their music too.

Naarah, lead singer, about to do her thing!

(please turn off the music player on the sidebar)
We Will Not Be Silent, Alabaster Box

We carry a cross
For this life Salvation will not be…
For this life
Once we were lost
But to die for this
To die for this
Reprise our lives will not be

It’s our salvation day
And we won’t be
And this is our Salvation Day ...

And people will stand
For liberty, for liberty
Forgiveness of man
Who’s bored with
This bored with this
Reprise and our lives will not be…


For this hope on which we stand

For this hope on which we stand
For this hope on which we stand
For this hope on which we stand

It’s our salvation day
And we won’t be
This is our Salvation Day
It’s our salvation day
And I won’t be
And thus is our Salvation Day

I pray that we would never be silent. On the contrary may our generation be clothed with boldness when it comes to sharing the love of Christ and the Gospel. Because I love them so much I've included these videos so that you can get familiar with them because I am confident that you will love them too.
1. About Alabaster Box

2. Interview 1/2

3. Interview 2/2

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Raindrops Crying For Me

Poetry has always been an outlet for me, though most of the time, the only source of venting. I found that through poetry I didn’t have to play masquerade. Growing up I struggled with anxiety, control, neglect, loneliness and a deep feeling of unworthiness. Often times I found myself unable to cry just drained. It was in the secret chamber of a journal and a pen that found courage to share all that was within me. Many times I would write and toss away my poetry out of fear of being exposed for what I felt and who I was- a depressed and angry individual. Today I stand in awe of all that God has done for me. I have peace which surpasses all understanding and joy unending. And true that I struggle to maintain that peace and joy, but God is faithful to strengthen me with boldness and courage so that I can embrace His sweet liberty.

I have never really shared much of my early poetry, because I felt that in sharing those dark writings, that I in a way would have watered down what Christ has done for me. I have recently begun to accept, that while I don’t share who I was, the power of Christ which set me free cannot be seen. I pray that as you continue reading, you would be encouraged to share your story of redemption. I also pray, that if you are caught in the same prison that I was in at the time in my life when I wrote this that you would cry out to God. After reading these poems I will include a part of scripture that has helped me countless of times as I am found in the valley of the shadows of death. As I shared with someone today, may you find peace in His presence and joy in the promises of His Word.

Raindrops fall down my cheeks
Crying for my eyes
My distended heart has no more sorrow
No more breathing space for happiness
It has all been taken up in vain
Life lessons uncalled for
Too many to count
Cloudy smiles and sunny frowns
Never found but both so real
Hidden corners and windows shut
Impossible it seems
Lonely with my pain
Being only me
No shadow following
In ran away you see
Raindrops fall down my cheeks
Crying for my eyes.

Another one I wrote in continuation to Raindrops Crying For Me:

Far way from here
Imprisoned in my mind
Alone without a shadow
As a fool I want to die
Provoked into a cyclone of fury
Like cold rain my tears just fall
Imagining your voice
I yearn to bask on fire
I daze into my hatred
Oh soliltude
Set me free.

Isaiah 26:3-4, "You [God] will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock."

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