Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flames from James

Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!
My friends, this can't go on. A spring doesn't gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don't bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don't bear apples, do they? You're not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?
James 2:10-12

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hello + Goodbye

I am very grateful for the blog world. I have come across bloggers who exude the love and gospel of Jesus Christ. One of these lovely bloggers is Aurora from Put on Love, Aurora. Below is a post from her blog that I absolutely love. Enjoy!

Hello a.k.a. God wink: Gods "coincidences".
Goodbye a.k.a God slap: God telling you to S.T.O.P.

Goodbye insecurities.
Hello inner beauty.
ie: While getting a pedicure, the color I wanted happened to be called "True Beauty", as I turned the bottle over, the nail polish was entitled: "Aurora". God wink.

Goodbye doing nothing.
Hello being faithful.
ie: I've always wanted to work with special needs students. "Coincidentally" enough my room mates mother is the secretary at a school in my area, I got the job. God wink.

Goodbye dependency on a man.
Hello trust in God.
ie: I ended things with my then-boyfriend-almost-fiance-we-were-going-different-directions man. A few weeks later, my father got diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. I was able to spend time with my dad throughout his ENTIRE journey of terminal illness (chemo, doctors visits, etc). I was S-I-N-G-L-E for the first time in cough, 6 years, cough. God wink.

Goodbye no community.
Hello church family.
ie: After my dad passed; members, goers, employees, servants and friends assisted PLANNED my fathers entire memorial service. Food was provided, a Pastor was present, a video was made, flyers were typed, ushers came forward, mattresses were borrowed, and unconditional LOVE was given. God wink.

Goodbye loneliness.
Hello true friendships.
ie: 2 months before my father passed away, my sister and I moved into a new house with 2 of our closest friends. As if our names being Aurora, Nora, Marissa and Alyssa wasn't "coincidental" enough, Marissa's father had past away a few months prior from cancer, was on hospice and her father passed away the same way mine did. She understood, she helped, she brought supplies, beds, etc. She made the entire process less lonely. God wink.

Goodbye mixed up priorities.
Hello time with Jesus.
ie: After work one day, I went to do my routine Facebook-Twitter-3 email accounts (why do I even have that many)-Photography-Depressing NY Times social media check. My internet happened to be "down" and when it did come back on Facebook wouldn't "work" (I later found out the server was down). I spent 2 hours face down, reading, learning and diving into God's word. God wink.

Goodbye feminism.
Hello feminity.
ie: One of my best friends Kati Smith was part of the planning committee for womens retreat this year, and reluctantly, I went. The speaker Bianca Juarez distinctly defined the difference between the two. My mom, 2 sisters and I all "happened' to be attending that weekend. (All part of the former F.A.) (Feminists anonymous.) God wink.

Goodbye perfection.
Hello humility.
ie: I had been yearning to be more transparent, open and raw about my life, feelings, etc. The lovely Hillary posted a blog about saying goodbye and to stop holding onto our past. She inspired me to write ALL of this. God wink.

*If you want to read more from Aurora click HERE.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I am helped

Hi Friends. I really didn't know what to post today. Seeking God's Word I was reminded of what I read this morning in Psalm 28. Verses 6-9 encouraged me and filled me with joy. May you be blessed by the hope found in His Word. May this be a word for you as well.
Blessed be the LORD,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.
The LORD is their strength,
And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
Save Your people,
And bless Your inheritance;
Shepherd them also,
And bear them up forever.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lyrical Friday - Rend

So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Joel 2:13

Happy Friday!
Today's song is Rend by Jimmy Needham. I just love how wise and true his lyrics are. I pray that you may only be moved closer to His presence. God bless You and may the joy of the Lord be of great comfort to you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

the Rock that is higher than us

Hi Friends.
Fall is here and with it a time of reflection. This year thus far has been, to say the least, overwhelming. God, however, has demonstrated unconditional commitment to me. He has displayed such devotion through His Word, His people, and countless God moments.

Yesterday I found myself a bit overwhelmed with life, failures and fears. During this time God revealed to me an area of my life that He was not pleased with and desiring to make whole. It was a sweet time of restoration as the Lord picked me up and led me in the way of everlasting. Even today He continued to speak life, hope and future to me through the prayer of a faithful friend.

After this time of reflection I "happened" upon a verse. I have been meditating, considering and mulling over these words. My prayer is that you too may be comforted by this verse and increadible chapter: When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. -Psalm 62:2. What great comfort, to know that Jesus is higher than me. In my crying out, I am being ushered to the One that can and will always workout ALL things for my good. He is commited to me.

Be encouraged today, with this truth: when we call out to the Lord for help, we will be lead to the rock that is higher than us, to Jesus our great Leader. And in Him we find a safe refuge, hope, forgiveness, mercy and grace that abounds. Lead us Lord, into your presence. And thank you for being a rock, our fortress and firm foundation. Be this and more to my readers.

Monday, September 20, 2010

No Unnecessary Miracles

Encourage him.
-Deuteronomy 1:38

God employs His people to encourage one another. He did not say to an angel, "Gabriel, My servant Joshua is about to lead My people into Canaan—go, encourage him." God never performs unnecessary miracles. If His purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, He will not use miraculous agencies. Gabriel would not have been half so well fitted for the work as Moses. A brother's sympathy is more precious than an angel's prestige. The swift-winged angel knew more about the Master's desires than he did about the people's needs. An angel had never experienced the difficult journey, nor faced the fiery serpents, nor had he led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done. We should be glad that God usually works for man by man. This forms a bond of brotherhood, and being mutually dependent on one another, we are united more completely into one family.

Brethren, take the text as God's message to you. Work at helping others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk warmly to the young and anxious inquirer; lovingly try to remove stumbling blocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by stages, but tell him of the strength that is found in God, of the certainty of the promise, and of the benefits of communion with Christ.

Aim to comfort the sorrowful and to encourage the despondent. Speak a fitting word to the weary, and lift the spirits of those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness. God encourages you by His promises; Christ encourages you as He points to the heaven He has won for you; and the Spirit encourages you as He works in you to will and to do of His own purpose and pleasure. Imitate divine wisdom, and encourage others according to the Word this evening.

Alistair Begg

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lyrical Friday - In Christ Alone

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

Hello Readers.
Praying that the Lord bless you abundantly. Today's song is one that I sing ALL the time at random and have made my anthem. In Christ Alone written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty is a lyrical masterpiece. May the lyrics of this song captivate your heart and renew your mind.

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found,

He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

remember, repent & do

"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works..."
Revelation 2:14-15

Like the church of Ephesus, we can easily be found doing the "right" things yet be far from the heart of God. Other times, we may be caught in a Hosea/Gomer situation... chasing other lovers in an attempt to fill what only God can satisfy. We are likely to wander and drift. We are prone to leave the God we love. But God, He is loving, gentle, merciful and gracious. He allures into His presence and speaks tenderly to us (Hosea 2:14).

In Revelation 2:15, we read the tender words that Hosea speaks of. The church of Ephesus is exhorted to remember, repent and do. I challenge you, as I challenge myself, "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works." Redo, go back to the basics.

Here is a short film from Paris Je T'iame that paints a picture, atleast to me, of remembering, repenting and redoing. Enjoy:

How wonderful though, that our Love is not dead but alive, very alive!
Do the first works.

May you fall head over heels in love with Jesus!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

to: All // from: Paul

Today I will only post a verse. I do ask that you meditate on it. May God overflow your life with His joy.

Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 Corinthians 6:10

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lyrical Friday & 30 Days of Love

Happy Friday!
Today marks a new beginning. Nothing big or outrageous, but a new day, a new me.

Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies
never cease.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Lamentations 3:21-23

The past 30 days have been riveting as the Lord called me to fast alongside Muslims and pray for them during their holy month of Ramadan. It has been an absorbing yet fascinating time in prayer and self sacrifice for the sake of love and salvation. As Christians we are called to love. We don't choose who to love, we are to love without reservations and without discrimination. Despite what we watch on tv, what we hear and what we have experienced as Americans there is absolute truth that outweighs the negative when relating to Muslims. Jesus died a horrible death in order that NO ONE should perish. And he arose, that we ALL may be free from bondage. Jesus died for you, for me and for Muslims as well. That truth breaks my heart. If Christ submitted himself to such a cruel death for Muslims, why am I not praying for them to come to the light? Why am I not on my knees crying out for salvation?

What I have learned through this experience, more now than in the years past, is that on our own effort we can not love with a selfless love. We can only love when we abide, commune, and spend time with God, who is love. My heart has enterwined with the Lord's and I have a deeply rooted love for Muslims that is ever growing. In light of this amazing experience I also realized how wonderful God has been and continues to be. The veil in my life has been torn. I am free to boldly go before God's throne of grace. As broken as I am for God's lost sheep, I am also overflowing with joy. When I look back to the days, when like a Muslim, I was blinded from knowing the glory of the Lord, I can't help but to break out in song. I rejoice in His goodness, His mercy and grace. When I think about the Lord, how he saved me, how he raised me, how he healed me- oh, thank you Jesus! I can only pray that Jews, Muslims, Buddhist and all of God's lost sheep would return to Him and experience the abundant life found only in God, through Christ Jesus.

If you are a Christian reading this, let this song be one that is unceasingly present upon your heart and mind. The faithfulness of God's love is without a doubt in my mind the fuel that keeps me going. And, if you aren't a Christian reading this, what are you waiting for? God loves you, He desires nothing more than to bless you and liberate you from the dead end pleasures this world has to offer you. Return to your Maker.

When I think about the Lord, Shane and Shane

30 Days is an admirable organization I have grown to love, support and join forces with. I encourage you to check out their website: 30 Days and get involved. Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves* when being a witness of Christ to anyone. Season every word with love and not condemnation. Be not ignorant but Spirit filled. "If it doesn't point to Jesus, what's the point?" says my friend George Cuevas.

*Matthew 10:16

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

take my life

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
-Frances Ridley Havergal

I read this poem years ago, before I even knew it was a hymm. It has since been my prayer and encouragement.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lyrical Friday - Inside

Happy Friday!
I was not planning on posting this song, but God lead me to it. Jared Anderson is an anointed worship leader. Today's song, Inside, has challenged me to 1) submit my life To God as clay in a potter's hands and 2) to be light and love to this World that is quickly pershing. See the connection: God and others.

Praying that God, our consuming fire, may burn away all that keeps us in sin till we are chaged and all that remains is one holy passion for Him. And when we are passionate for God, loving others becomes second nature. God less YOU!!!!

PS-- Be in prayer for the second HEAL group. Small group starts tomorrow Saturday.

Inside, Jared Anderson

No eye has seen, no ear has heard
How the glory of God's gonna cover the world
What will silence the tongues of men
Give our children freedom to dance again
They will dance again

I will be clay in the Potter's hand,
I will be light in a darkened land
I will be love lit on fire,
Holy Spirit burn on the inside
I will be color to the black and grey,
I'll raise a banner up in Jesus' Name
And I will be love lit on fire
Holy Spirit, burn on the inside, on the inside

This old world keeps falling apart,
but Jesus comes to wherever you are
Breathing life on the desert floor
And resurrection on the faces of the poor
On the faces of the poor

Oh, oh, oh, oh

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


As I searched my "archives" I came across a myspace blogpost that I had written way back in November of 2007. After reading this post, I couldn't help but laugh at how the Lord works. This message ties in so well with yesterday's post on Psalm 46. I pray that you may be encouraged and challenged. Read on:

Last night at the Ladies Bible study Laura Cuevas blessed us with a wonderful teaching: Trust! These are my notes and thoughts:

•Trust in an action (choose to trust)
•The Lord is worthy to be trusted
•If someone or something has a piece of your heart, then you can't trust the Lord with all of your heart
•When we isolate ourselves from God and/or godly council we limit ourselves to our own understanding- Jeremiah 17:5-10… read it
•We first go to God and then use godly council to confirm the word of God
•"In all your ways" implies a lifelong journey with the Lord
•"In all your_____" Fill in the blank with every action that you take: In all my thoughts, in all my words, in all my deeds, in all my finances, in the way that I dress, in all etc…
•Matthew 6:33- Who or what do I give your attention to?
•What is my priority?
•Is my time with the Lord, devotional life?
•Check your attitude: What am I willing to give up for the Lord?
•Appearance: Am I acknowledging Him in the way that I dress?
•Am I guarding others by what I am wearing?
•He will direct my path!!! What an awesome promise.
•If I give (fill in the blank with whatever it may be that the Lord is asking of you) _______ to the Lord, then He will reward me... but I have to take the risk of letting go.
•He has a perfect plan for me and He will fight to get me there... if I trust Him to fight for me.
•We each have a divine and unique path like no other. Be content and trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path to his purpose for your life
•Apart from Him we can do nothing. We can find rest in knowing that if we are abiding with Him, trusting Him won't be so hard. Hold on to Phil 4:13.
John 15:5 - I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Philippians 4:13 - We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.


Lately God has me in awe, as I look into the lives of the people closest to me. Overall how he blesses and honors those who trust in Him and acknowledge Him in all their ways. It's so cool. And I'm not talking about their lives being perfect, I'm talking about people who are still in the midst of a trial. And even though they don't understand the how or what of their circumstance, they have purposed in their hearts to trust the Lord. God is rewarding them and the peace which surpasses all understanding is evident in their walk. That peace in visible in the joy of the Lord, which is their strength and they are able to praise Him in their storm. I am also seeing God granting the desires of my friend's hearts because they committed their ways unto Him.

I challenge you to press pause on all your "dilemmas" and make a mental list of those people closest to you. Analyze where they are today. How is their walk? The choices that they have made and are making today, were they spirit lead or did they lean on their own understanding? What was the outcome of that? In troubled times where did they run to first? God? People? Themselves? Alcohol? Drugs? Shopping? Eating? How do they respond to Godly council? How is their prayer life? This may seem like a psycho analysis but it can help you in this delicate area of trusting the Lord with all your heart. If the people closest to you are not, than you most likely won't either. However, if the people around you trust in the Lord wholeheartedly and with out reserves than guess what, their righteousness will be contagious. They will be a source of encouragement for you to continue leaning, relying and trusting in our faithful and loving Father.

Where am I in all of this?

Let's just say that the Lord has me being still. And there is no place else that I rather be. I've discovered that being still, though it may seem like a drag is the best kept secret place. Why? Because if we are being still, seated, steadfast and immovable, then that means that we are letting God be God. The only way to know him as God is to let Him be God. let him reveal himself as God to you and for you. And to be honest, my own understanding is rubbish. The choices that I have made on my own have all been mistakes. So in this journey, I choose to acknowledge Him in all my ways, and even though I don't meet that goal everyday I don't give up. We don't lose hope! The Lord's mercies are new every morning and He knows best... why am I going to step in the way. What the Lord has for me not you, not I and no one can possibly imagine. What He has for you is too great to even begin to imagine. Don't limit yourself. When He says to be still and know that He is God, our response should always be "Yes Sir!" If we let him be God than we have nothing to fear, He created life and is all powerful and all knowing, why not trust in Him? What have we to lose?

Let Go and Let God means letting God direct you into the very best that He has for you. But, and it may be a big but, you have to take action and let go... only you and the Lord know what it is. I'll make it easy for you it's one of two things or both: someone or something. What are you waiting for?

Isaiah 55:7-9
Habakkuk 3:17-19
Matthew 6:25-34

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