Friday, January 28, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Day and Night

Hi friends.
This past December Sarah Kelly led worship for our Ladies Christmas breakfast for church. She is anointed! Even before she began to worship, the Holy Spirit fell upon that room in a real and powerful way. All she had said at that point was that she loved being with God's girls. Yea, I began to cry at that point. Between worship songs Sarah shared bits and pieces of her story. Birthed during one of her darkest times was this song: Day and Night. I pray that El Roi, the God you sees you, may minister hope, peace and comfort as He did to Sarah when she wrote these lyrics.

Day and Night, Sarah Kelly

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Flames from James

If any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God,
who gives to all liberally and without reproach,
and it will be given to him. James 1:5

Monday, January 24, 2011

morning bliss

Hi Friends.
This morning I woke up rather early to drive my cousin to school. After dropping her off, I drove to a near by Starbucks with my Bible and Elisabeth Elliot... OK, she wasn't in the car with me but two of her books were.

As I read through my daily reading, I happened upon Isaiah 66:13: "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you..." We have the God of all comforts on our side. The Lord, God Almighty, will comfort you. I pray that you may find hope, peace and comfort in this wonderful verse.

Something about me that you need to know: I love people watching, it's not as bad as stalking- I watch, I don't follow, lol. Just a few feet away from me sat a father and daughter. They were lovely. They talked, laughed and even sat in silence. You didn't have to be Captain Obvious to notice that they both enjoyed each others presence. As they talked, they never took their eyes off each other. It was beautiful.

I was reminded that our Father God enjoys conversation with me... and it's not a one way, it's a two way.
God enjoys listening to me. God enjoys listening to you!
God enjoys speaking to me. God enjoys speaking to you!
God enjoys fellowship with me. God enjoys fellowship with you!

The creepy-peeping-tomasa in me couldn't hold back and I took a picture of them:

I tried real hard to catch them laughing. Oh well...

Friday, January 21, 2011

his name is Rudy.

We were about 12 people driving south bound from Merrit Island to Miami.

Someone, I don't know who, made an executive decision to get off at West Palm Beach and stop for food.

When we arrived at Chillis everyone else went in. But I sat outside on a bench talking on my phone. As soon as my conversation ended, I looked up and a very petite man was standing before me.

"Excuse, do you speak Spanish?" he asked in a very broken English.
"Si SeƱor." I replied.
"Pordone la molestia. Necesito tomar el auto bus y no tengo un $1.50. Seria posible que me regalara esa cantidad?" (Translation: Sorry to bother you. I need to ride the bus but don't have a $1.50. Would it be possible that you could give me that amount?) He asked me. His eyes looked weary.

A beautiful dialogue continued on in Spanish.

His name is Rudy.
He isn't married.
Has no children.
He works the field.
Probably lives in a space to small to call a walk in closet.
He was in the shopping center that day soliciting work in the parking lot, willing to do odd jobs to make ends meet.

Among the things we talked about, Rudy shared with me that due to the cold front that South Florida has been experiencing, He has lost his job as a field worker. The crops have gone to waste, and with this loss, the peace and hope of many migrant workers. He shared with me the struggles that most of His friends, who do have a wife and family, are going through. He looked away from me, and said that He was most likely going to lose the place He slept at.

For those of you who don't know me, If I see the slightest crack to speak to someone about my God, I will drive a freight train through that door. I called for my friend Ramon who was sitting inside Chillis. And so the glorious Gospel went out. It was beautiful as we talked with Him. I sat back and prayed for the Holy Spirit to speak through Ramon. He sure did. Rudy prayed with us and asked Jesus into His life.

While Ramon was talking, Rudy listening and I sat on the bench praying, God prompted my heart to collect money. I sent a text to my friends and they put money together. Not just that, one of the guys had a brown paper bag carrying a sandwich, an apple, a bag of chips and a bottle of water. How we had that bag of food is another great story. I will never forget how his eyes watered up as I handed him the paper bag. "Lo que hay aqui no viene de nosotros, es un regalo de Dios." (What's inside this bag does is not from us, but it is a gift from God.) I told him.

Rudy thought his need was only for a $1.50 and He found more than that.
He is now a brother in the Lord.
He now knows His Savior.
He now knows that He is not forgotten.
He now knows that God is his provider.
He now knows that God is intimately acquainted with all his ways, all his needs and worries

Please keep Rudy in prayer.
Unfortunately, He didn't have a phone or cell phone to follow up with Him.
He was also too embarrassed to give us the address to mail Him a Bible.
But Ramon did give Rudy his number. I pray He calls Ramon soon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

10:10 new life & Lyrical Friday

Happy Friday!

Today I will conclude the John 10:10 "mini-series" with a Lyrical Friday mix.
If youi want to catch up just click on: 1, 2 or 3.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

As I shared before, this verse is quite common to me. Let put it in shopping terms, it's that store that you know of, you've seen it, you may even know people who shop there. But because you yourself have never gone inside and checked it out, its "whatever" to you. So one happy day, you decide to check it out. All of a sudden you ask yourself, "Why haven't I been here before?!?!?" The store is absoultely amazing. Well my friends, that has been my experience with this verse.

God has been speaking to me many things.
I have both believed and fed myself lies. These lies have robbed me from living the abudnant life.
Lies that I am not worth it.
Lies that I am not wanted.
Lies that I am good for nothing.
Lies that the Lord doesn't want me.
Lies that I am stupid.
Lies that I am foolish.
Lies, lies, lies.
Jesus has come to give me life. He is the way, the truth and the life.

The thoughts of past mistakes and regrets come to mind and guilt resurfaces. If I dwell on the guilt, it kills the abundant life.
Guilt of not speaking up
Guilt of something said
Guilt of not defending myself.
Guilt of not defending someone
Guilt of not having done something
Guilt of having done something
Guilt, guilt, guilt.
Jesus has come to give me life. There is therefore no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus.

Fear has played a major role in destroying the abundant life that God has for me.
Fear of failure.
Fear of returning to old habits.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of the unkown.
Fear of inadequacy.
Fear of disappointing the Lord
Fear of being made whole.
Fear, fear, fear.
Jesus has come to give me life. Perfect love cast out fear.

Don't be fooled, for I am not. The life Jesus offers is all things lovely BUT it's not an easy one. Luke 9:23, "If anyone desires to come after me after me, let him deny himself, pick up his cross daily and follow me. Deny myself? A cross? Say what!? Yes my friends, the Christian walk is a life of daily sacrificing but when compared to riches and glories found in the life Jesus offers, this world, my desires are dim and of little worth. Lord, I am yours to take. I want to live the abundant life you have for me. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ in me.

My one word for 2011 is Life.
I ready to live the abundant life.
The past will not be an anchor in my life but rather a spring board.
Letting go of the past and moving forward into all God has for me.
I am only one person, but I can do something, great things, mighty things, all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. 

Lyrical Friday- Jimmy Needham, Yours to Take

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

10:10 made for more

Welcome Back!

Yesterday, we dug deep into John 10:10 (The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly). We looked at both the thief and the giver of life. Today we will focus on what the abundant life doesn't look like and what it does look like through the life of two women in the Bible.

As a child I wanted to be so much: Nurse, Actress, Singer, Fashion Designer, Defender and Redeemer of homeless people, Teacher, Wife, Mother, Rich, Important and well known, I wanted to be BIG.

As a teenager: Beautiful, Loved, Romanced, Desired, Cherished, Popular. People and Boys were my fuel.

As an adult: Possessions, Power, Fullfillment in relationship, Purpose.

However, in all these things there remained a void, an emptiness. And whether I accomplished one or accoplished none, one question echoed in each time: Is there more to life than this?

I grew up not in a Christian home per say. I did know who God was, and when I say I did know God, I mean I had an understanding of his existance but I didn't know God and knew nothing of him. Allow me to explain: It's like the earthquake that hit Haiti exactly a year from today. We knew of it, there was a head knowledge that we knew there was an earthquake, it was a tradegy, lives were lost, people were suffering. We knew that. Again, there was knowledge of it. Yet because we weren't there, we were unable to experience it. We have knowledge of it but because we weren't there our entire being knows nothing of it. Same goes with God. I knew God but there was no experiencing of God. There was no relationship, no evidence of an intimate walk with him.

In my teens I gave my life to Jesus. The emptiness of my soul was filled. Yet even in knowing God personally, in being a "Christian", a certain void remained- a lack of living you could say. Was there more to life for me? Was I created only to breath, blink, eat and sleep?
A car is created to be driven.
A shirt is created to be worn.
A Pizza is created to be eaten.
A song is created to be heard.
A book is created to be read.
A life is created to be lived!

Each thing is created with a unique purpose.
Life has a purpose (to be enjoyed to the full, to the max, to overflow). Than there must be a Creator!

----> Psalm 139 (click HERE to read) is a beautiful description of Creator God and us His Creation!
> we are wonderfully made. YOU ARE WONDERFULLY MADE!!!
> We have a maker. YOU HAVE A MAKER WHO: loves you! has amazing plans for you. longs to reveal to you, your worth and value as His precious child.
> God took His time creating you
> He labored over your design and formed you uniquely out of divine love for you
> V16 says, "The days fashioned for me before there were none of them: God's plans include you and me! We were created with a purpose!

 ---->Isaiah 62:3 says, "For you shall be a crown of glory in the hand of your God, and a royal diadem in the hand of your Lord.
>When I think of royalty certain words come to mind: prestige, glory, worth, importance, purpose, meaning, position, divine calling.
>If we place our lives in the hand of God He will begin to shower the abundant blessings in our life!

 Let's take a closer look at two women, who were both given the opportunity to live an abundant life.

The remainder of this post we will be looking at the book of Esther, click HERE for it or open your Bible!  

Esther 1:1-2:4
> King was hosting a banquet and showing off all his great possessions, his greatness, power and wealth
> Fine linens, gold, silver, turquoise, marble and alabaster are among the valuables
> The king however wanted to display the most valued of all the his possessions: Queen Vashti
> *** The king was not a godly man, and this feast was a scare tactic that he was using to manupulate fear unto his guest. And might I add that He was drunk.
> Commenators disagree on their veiws of Queen Vashti's response to the King. But one thing we do read in the scripture: she was summoned but she did not go. (Matthew Henry & Warren Wiersbe are great commentators on Esther)
> A new queen needed to take her place

Esther 2:5-8
> Esther was a young jewish orphan being raised by her older cousin Mordecai
> She's taken to the the court of the king with other women
> The year beautification process consisted of being cleansed, washed, anointed with oils and

Esther 2:16-17
>Esther is chosen
 We now have two Queens to contrast and compare

***reminder, the King is not a godly man, or a spiritual leader BUT I want to bring our focus now to our perfect King: God.
>He desires to bring us out before the world and display us as his prized possession (remember we have been bought), to present us as His daughter, His princess, His Queen, His bride.
> He looks to us and says, "Though I created the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, the air that you breath, the rain that waters the crops you eat, though I have created this earth for your enjoyement You have been created in my image. I died for you and defeated death so that you can have the abundant life here and eternal life thereafter. You are the crown of my creation and I want to present you to the World.

 1. Queen Vashti had an opportunity to be displayed (in a proper setting) as the most precious being in King Xerxes' kingdom yet she refused to be displayed. She was robbed of the abundant life, her hopes were killed and her position destroyed.
>And so it is with us. God has created us for more. We have been created to live a life of purpose and meaning. Today, He desires to use your life to display and refect His glory, His salvation, His mercy, His grace and truth to a dying world.

2. Quen Esther is now chosen by the King, and though we do not read that King Xerxes summons her to display her beauty, God makes sure to display her for His.

As you continue to read the story and I highly encourage you too, we read about an evil man named Haman and his horrible plot to rob the jews of their possessions, to kill them and destroy their God. Mordecai is a wonderful picture of those godly leaders that God places in our lives to give us sound wisdom.  

Let's pick up in Esther 4:13-16
>I love how Mordecai reminds Esther, as if almost painting a picture of Queen Vashti, that if she chooses to not do this, God will send deliverance through another way.
>God doesn't lose when we disobey, we are the ones that lose.
>God desires to use our lives this specific time to accomplish a specific purpose to bring about the savation of one person or of many that He may be glorified!
>He longs to achieve His purposes through us, and not because He needs us but because He has chosen to use us.

That is the abundant life, a life with purpose.
I challenge you: Would you allow God to use you in the circle of people that you find yourself in, for such a time as this? Would you be a crown of glory in His hand? Allie Marie Smith writes in her book: The Heal Journey, "Just as you'll never discover your life's purpose apart frm God, you'll never experience an abundant life apart from Him, either.

 Queen Vashti was robbed of the abundant life because she placed the focus on herself.
 Queen Esther was able to experience the abundant life because she made God and others her focus.
The only thing we can take to heaven, is people.

 Matthew 20:28: just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

 The abundant life is a life of purpose, a life of service, a life of sacrafice, a life centered on God and others, not centered on ourselves. We have been made free from the thief and made for more!!!

 2 Timothy 2:20-22 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Ephesians 2:20 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

10:10 a thief and a giver

Hi Friends!
This week I will be blogging about John 10:10, my year verse. It will be a mixture of notes from a teaching I prepared for the girls at my youth group as well as what the Lord is speaking to me personally. Today I would like to take you in deeper to this verse: I introduce you to a theif and a giver...

  •  NKJV (New King James Version): The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
  • NLT (New Living Translation): The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
  • NIV (New Internation Version):The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
  • ESV (English Standard Version):The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
  • AB (Amplified Bible): The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). 
Let's contrast and compare the thief and this person who has come to give us life.

1. Thief
A. Who is this thief?
>The original Greek word for thief is kleptes. The meaning is false teachers. Figuratively speaking in this passage, it is speaking to a local church where most of its members were possesing a mere outward profession yet being defiled by the world.
> We therefore, can conclude that this thief is the world and all its false imitation of life.
> 1 John 5:19 reminds us that Satan is the ruler of this world.

B. The thief will steal:
>Rob us of our joy, peace, contentment, innonce, purity, faith
>The thief will rob us of anything and everything that God intented for us to have.
>Blessings will be robbed if we follow the thieves

C. The thief will Kill:
>At times the world will kill us to the core if we allow it to
>the thief will asphyxiate any and all hope
>it will massacre the Word of God
>It will kill the image of God in our hearts, to the point where we may even question God, "Are you there?" // "God, do you even care about me?" // "God, are you listening?" // "God, do you even exist? Are you real?"
>The world will kill our self worth right before our very eyes
>The thief will kill anything and everything that is truth in our lives

D. The thief will destroy:
>Whether it be through addiction. (Drugs, alcohol, eating disorder, exercise, sports, cutting, video games, the internet, shopping, our phones!!!!) An addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit ot practice. You feel you need this or you can not live.
>Destructon may come through depression.
>Or the thing that may destroy us could be bitterness of heart
>Unforgiveness will do it too.

This thief does not come except and only with one purpose in order to keep us bound, chained, restrained and imprisoned from the life we were meant to live.

Let's take a look now to the one that has come to give us life

2. Mystery Giver
A. John 10:7 tells us who he is: None other than our King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Savior, Redeemer, Friend and lover of our soul Jesus Christ!

B. He has come:
Bottom line, we are in need of a Savior. This world has nothing that can offer life. That is why Jesus had to come. Apart from Him we are only existing and not living. He offers life to everyone, to whosoever, to those who are down, to those who are depressed even to those who have all their ducks lined up in a row. There is no error in history, Jesus came, e died and He did rise from that grave. And by doing so Jesus can say, "I have overcome the world."

C. To give life:
What quality of life does He give to those who accept Him? They will experience the life that only He can give, the abundant life, the rich and satisfying life, life to the full, so much so that it overflows. Those who possess such life have a future and a hope. They have purpose. They have a calling. Those who choose Jesus, the giver of life, now live for more. Not only does He give life, but glorious riches and awesome gifts. The life He offers gives us power to overcome the world! The quality of life that He has come to give is without doubt the greatest treasure one could every know and own.

I refuse to believe that after reading this verse in depth,
anyone would rather exist an not live!

Tomorrow I'll share more...
And we will look at two women in the Bible who .... lol, did you really think I would spoil it for you? No, no, no. Come tomorrow for more.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

thee verse


As promised, today I will share with you the verse I received from this year. During the end of December the Lord spoke clearly to me about this verse:

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

I have to be honest with you, I was a bit desensitized to this verse because it's the life/theme verse of my church. I guess hearing it week in and week out, it became just another verse like many that become a Christian cliche. I even felt a little silly that God would choose this verse for me, thinking that it is well known in my heart. WRONG! Though the verse is well known in my mind, my heart is far from knowing it as God's written and spoken Word for me personally. It makes sense to me now that John 10:10 is for me this year, right now.

At the end of the year I shared with other youth leaders the responsibility of teaching the youth from the big people pulpit, lol. Freedom was the series and I had the honor of doing the first teaching. And with that great honor came total blankness. Freedom in the spiritual sense can mean many things to a large group of people. After much prayer I knew what aspect of Freedom I would teach: Freedom to Live. Little did I know that in preparing for this sermon the Lord would teach me a thing or two through John 10:10. This verse no longer is a "church" verse for me but a life verse (along with many other great ones) and my year verse for 2011.

Throughout the coming week, I will be sharing parts of that teaching as well as what John 10:10 means to me. Jesus has come to give me life, to give you life, life that is abundant and overflowing with His goodness. It is this Jesus that my heart yearns for you to know. How appropriate to begin the year looking at Him, the giver of life. After all, in the words of a very wise man that I have the privilege of knowing: If it doesn't point to Jesus, what's the point? -George Cuevas.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Warrior

Hello Friday!
This has nothing to do with Lyrical Friday, but I wanted to remind you that God is faithful to hear your prayers, and even more amazing that that, He does answer them. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:1-3

Warrior, Dominic Balli

My heart is overflowing with a good theme
I recite my composition concerning the King
My tongue is like the pen of a ready writer (Selah)
My God when you came out before your people
Marched through the wilderness the earth shook below
The heavens stopped at your presence dropped rained
Five thousand years you’re still the same
So when the enemy comes at me with tactics of fear and fate
Like the Lord cracked the sky and it gave forth rain
So my enemies will be made a footstool before of the King
One by one they’ll fall as heavenly armies
march and sing

The Lord is warrior he’ll fight with all his might, the enemy’s frightened as triumph cries
A shout of victory, over his enemies and he’ll go forth
The Lord is like a man war, his light will shatter the darkness from night as triumph cries

The Lord is my shelter from my enemies
I will not fear what they can do to me
In the struggle I find strength for the fight
We’ll raise the banner high until we break the night
Mount up with spiritual armor
For the weapons of this warfare are far from carnal
But mighty in God for tearing down strongholds

We marching out brandishing arms upon
The wickedness battle goes on and on
We steady combattin from dawn to dawn my king had victory all along
We focus attention from day unto day from my troubles and unto the one that can save
My brethren cryin out charging the battle line lookin unto the God worthy of praise and hey
Runnin in the race till the day breaks and I'm throwin off weight gotta make haste
Enemy can't stay gotta vacate when the great name been proclaimed thus say the Lord
And I'm gonna fight it with a mighty mighty vigor gonna side it with the undivided
Hot up in the battle in valley of the
shadow of a gallow and I'm runnin with a fella that I’m honored just to follow

Monday, January 3, 2011

keep calm and carry on

Hi Friends!
I was going to share with you my verse for this year BUT... God changed my agenda. lol The video below is from this weekend's service at my home church. Pastor Scott is one of my favorite Bible teachers. He has this amazing gift, he can explain the most complex and complicated parts of scriptures in the most simple and creative ways. And if you watch the video you'll notice his awesome play on words. It's hard not to remember the lessons God desires us to learn when Scott is teaching. I pray that you are both blessed and encouraged.

Stay Calm and Carry On from Calvary Chapel Kendall on Vimeo.

For service times and webcasting click HERE.
For more vimeo from Calvary Chapel Kendall click HERE.

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