Wednesday, March 30, 2011

plant. water. grow.

Hi Friends.
I am very excited to share with you what the Lord has been laying upon my heart these last two weeks. It has been hard to blog, every single day I have wanted to write, yet could not find the right words to share with you what God has to say to you, to me. But here we are and I am confident that it is the Spirit of God speaking.

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness. -2 Corinthians 9:10

This verse is of great comfort. The Lord has not only given us eternal salvation, a Helper (His Holy Spirit) but He has supplied us with seeds. Trust me, I do not have a green thumb nor do I know anything about agriculture but I do know one thing related to seeds: The Lord has planted a vineyard in my life. 

He has sown seeds of forgiveness, mercy, grace, truth, love, laughter and so on. What has the Lord done in your life? Those are seeds planted in you. He has sown recovery from an eating disorder, He has sown healing (countless of times), He has sown restoration, He has sown contentment, He has sown the amazing fruits of the Spirit in me. I can go on. But unless I water them with the Word of God there will be no increase, no growth. I must water, water, water. As I mentioned before, I know nothing about agriculture so I will consult someone who does know... the Helper! He will surely help me.

Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
The challenge the Lord has given me, and now I pass on to you: PLANT. WATER. GROW. The challenge is however, to plant in other's lives. Has the Lord planted a seed in your heart? Go therefore and plant that in someone else's life, that is what discipleship is all about (Matthew 28:19).  [For example, it took two years for the Lord to heal my broken heart. He planted a seed of restoration and I watered it with the Word of God. Now, the Helper is leading me to dry vineyards aka ladies around me who are going through similar hearaches and I am able to plant the seed I received and repeat the cycle: plant, water and God will make it grow as I pray.]

I encourage you to take this challenge. I'll post "vineyard moments" as they happen, so share yours with me. Ask the Lord of the Harverst to lead you to dry vineyards. Once He reveals or possibly lead you to that person begin the cultivating process: plant, water, grow. As the Lord does the growing you pray without ceasing for that person. Women minister to the women and men minister to men. I bet if we all allow the Lord to discipline us in this area, we will have many Isaiah 17:8 people. 

May we never forget that it is by someone else's wounds that we have been healed. May our wounds, our past trials or even currents ones be used to help someone else. May our seasons of being filled be used to fill others. God bless YOU!

The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters WILL ALSO be watered himself.
-Proverbs 11:25

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare WHAT HE HAS DONE for my soul.
-Psalm 66:16

KNOWING that your FAITH is alive keeps us alive.
-1 Thessalonians 3:8 (The Message)

Imitate ME, just as I also imitate Christ.
-1 Corinthians 11:1

And by his wounds we are HEALED.
-Isaiah 53:5

Sow for yourselves RIGHTEOUSNESS;
Reap in mercy;
Break up the FALLOW GROUND of your HEART,
For it is time to seek the LORD,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
-Hosea 10:12

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Please Be My Strength

Hi Friends!
This past Sunday I had the honor of worshipping with Gungor Band live. It was awesome, beyond words. Definitely a worship experience. Go to their website and find out when they are playing in your city/state. You'll thank me.

Please be my Strength is one of those songs that cuts deep into fears. It serves as a reminder to me that God is my strength. I cannot create such strength nor can I sustain my futile strength- only God and God alone can create it and sustain it. I pray that this song may serve you as a reminder, an anthem to stand firm on. God is your strength. With Christ you can and will overcome your fears, your affliction and regain faith, passion and strength. He can give you strength where there is none and bless you with peace.

Unless your faith is firm, You cannot stand firm. Isaiah 7:9b
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. Psalm 28:7
But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
He is their strength in the time of trouble. Psalm 37:39
My flesh and my heart fail;But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:6

Please be my Strength, Gungor Band

I've tried to stand my ground
I've tried to understand
but I can't seem to find my way
like water on the sand
or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short

please be my strength
please be my strength
I don't have anymore
I don't have anymore

I'm looking for a place
that I can plant my faith
one thing I know for sure
I cannot create it
I cannot sustain it
It’s Your love that’s keeping (captured) me

Please be my strength...

at my final breath
I hope that I can say
I've fought the good fight of faith
I pray your glory shines
through this doubting heart of mine
so my world would know that You

You are my strength
You are my strength
You and You alone
Keep bringing me back home

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Money Issues... when God takes control

Do you ever feel that your financial life is in shambles? Do you have too much debt, too little savings, and no sense of control over your life? I was in that same situation twelve years ago. I lost almost everything due to my irresponsible way of handling money. Hitting bottom and hitting it hard was one of the worst and best things that ever happened to me.

The time had come to make dramatic put my hands to the plow. It was painful, but by God's grace, prayer, and applying the principles of the Bible, I made a 2-fold plan: (1) Cut Spending, and (2) Reduce Debt.

(1) Cut Spending - I cut deep and hard. No more going to the movies, or out to dinner, or buying clothes, or going on vacation. Just the bare necessities: mortgage, utilities, food, and gas.

(2) Reduce Debt - I cut up all of my credit cards. I kept one for emergencies and started using only my debit card. I made up my mind to incur no new debt! Then I listed all my debts in order from the smallest to largest. I paid off my smallest debt first, and as each debt was repaid, I rolled the amount I was paying to the next largest debt. I continued this strategy until all my debts were paid. It took me seven years and a lot of tears. But it was well worth it.

Sometimes God seems to place us in difficult places, leading us into a corner from which there is no escape. Perhaps this is where you find yourself even now. God can deliver you! Trust Him, and then put your hands to the plow!

Written by: Carmen Camino, She Ministries

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lyrical Friday - We the Redeemed

Hi my beautiful readers.
I am so excited to share with you today's Lyrical Friday song, We the Redeemed written by Jill McCloghry. I pray that as you sit back, listen and meditate on these lyrics that your heart and mind may be moved to worship the one who has redeemed you. As for me, I find myself in a strange place: in a desert but not dry. This song speaks to me in a very personally way, I the redeemed have hope, therefor, I can abide in this place until God tells me otherwise. God bless you.

You will lead the people You have redeemed with Your faithful love; You will guide [them] to Your holy dwelling with Your strength. Exodus 15:13 [HCSB]

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:18-21

We the Redeemed, Hillsong United

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

heaven on earth

Hi beloved friends.
Three years in a row I have celebrated my birthday by hosting a ladies worship and prayer night. I love love love getting together with God's girls. Michi, one of my best friends, lead us in a wonderful time of worship. We then spent a beautiful time in prayer for one another, everyone prayed for the person to their right. The communion table is my favorite part of the night. I have a motto when it comes to communion: Jesus doesn't want you to have a little bit of Him, He wants you to take A LOT of Him! So naturally, the Challah bread is served and everyone takes as much of "Jesus" as they want.

WhenI first celebrated my birthday like this I went out and bought imported Moroccan tea glasses and they are reserved only for communion. It's a special time. With the help of my cousin, I made bookmarks (which is another tradition). On each bookmark is a verse(s) that the Lord prompted in my heart to write. As communion takes place each one takes a bookmark and spends time alone with Jesus and reading what His Spirit has to say. It was an awesome time. There was enough time afterwards for ladies to share what God spoke through those scriptures. It was amazing!!!

These are the moments that make me yearn for Heaven. But till them, may we be a people who worship our Lord always, pray without ceasing for one another and come boldly to the throne of grace to hear from Him.

Be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1

Thursday, March 10, 2011

30 Hour Famine

Hi Dear Friends.
Uth Nation, the youth group where I serve at is hosting a 30 hour fast for the starving children in Haiti. We have partnered with 30 Hour Famine through World Vision and together we are serving the poor, the hungry, the needy, the heart hungry people of Haiti. You can be a part of the kingdom work happening in Haiti through your financial support. This is a one time, online gift that will echo through all of eternity. May we never underestimate the power of giving. We may not be able to physically be God's hands and feet but through our financial support we can send help.

Friends, any dollar amount will help. Whether it be that you can only give a dollar, that one dollar will feed a kid for a day! $30 feeds a kid for a month and $360 feeds a kid for a year. My original goal was $150 which my the Lord's mighty work was met. I then raised it to $360, with the hopes of feeding a child for a year and guess what, the Lord went above and beyond. My new goal is $540 which will feed another child for half a year. Please prayerfully consider how you, your family and friends can help. Thanks.

If you want to donate, I have made it easy for you. Click HERE.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

birthday blog & birthday lessons

Yesterday was my birthday. I must say, Tuesday is a odd day for a birthday.

Once again the Lord has demonstrated His faithful love for me through those around me. My morning started with homemade breakfast and a special prayer from my Parentals. The Brotheroonie named our internet after me, lol. The Sisteroonie picked me up from work and took me shopping (always amazing). A couple of friends surprised me and showed up at my house with balloons, gifts and food. My dear Mother cooked one of my favorite dishes. And the most special of all, my two younger cousins surprised me with homemade Nutella brownie cupcakes (yum) and gifts (see the picture).

These two little ones (that I consider more than cousins, they are to me my children) reminded me of the the Widow in Luke 21:1-4. They looked for a recipe to bake for me, went to the store and thoughtfully picked out a gift to bless me with and together chose a card that described me to the T. Not that any of the other gifts are meaningless or insignificant, but my Cindy and Gaby don't have a job, they don't have wealth or riches, nor did they give to me just because. They gave to me from the little that they have, they gave me their all. It pleased me so much. It taught me a lesson, It pleases God to give to Him the little that we are, to give him our all. God isn't fooled by boastful giving, or elaborate donations. God doesn't care for our lip work. God cares more about our heart and the conforming of it.

Another lesson He taught me yesterday had to do with their gift: a candle.
I am a bit obsessive when it comes to candles and scents. I never told anyone but there is a candle that I've been wanting to get. Its a bit costly so I haven't bought another one. Just last Saturday, I almost bought because it wasn't in my budget to buy it. So I prayed... "God, please help me buy this candle next weekend. Or better yet, put it in some one's heart to get me a --store name-- gift card. Amen." By now you know I pray silly little prayers. Three days later, it's my birthday and I open up Cindy and Gaby's gift and you won't believe it, they bought me the candle I wanted. God whispered to me: "What matters to you matters to Me, even if its a silly little candle. I not only care about the "BIG" stuff, I also care about the "little" things too." Maybe that's a word for you today.

Last year I shared with you some of the texts and Facebook comments my friends left me. This year I will do the same. These are some of the wonderful messages I got throughout the day. Beautiful reminders from the Lord, through His people. All glory to God, because apart from Him I am nothing.

MT- Happy B-Day Raquelita! May the Lord keep blessing you daily with all kinds of blessings from above. You are a dear friend and sister and I love you lots! Have fun in your birthday & Celebrate your life!! :)

SN- Happy Birthday Beautiful!! You have been such a huge blessing in my life! I praise God for your life and rejoice with you on your big day! Enjoy it, Embrace it! Its just one more year of growth and blessings. love ya! (:

CN- Raquelita! Happy birthday to you! You are such a wonderful example to our young ladies. I am thankful for you! God bless you and have an awesome day!
LA- Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." proverbs 31:30-31
This is how I wanted to begin telling you that above loving you just for being my cousin, I love and honor you just for being YOU!  May your day be filled with love, joy and riches :) you deserve them all! Happy birthday my Kelibubu!! I love you forever!!! Have a blasssst on your day ♥ ;)

MF- Happy, Happy, Happy birthday to a special and wonderful friend!! I thank God for your life and pray that He will grant you many more blessed years. Hope you have an awesome day. I love you.

JL- HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! I thank God for your LIFE!!! YOU are a SPECIAL and WONDERFUL blessing in my life!!! May the Lord bless you abundantly with every desire in your heart and may this year bring you closer to Him!!! love u!!! ♥

BS- Happy Birthday sweet Raquel! You are so special and I just know you make God smile a whole lot. Blessings

MF- Happy Birthday Raquelita! Have a good one. May you be blessed with lots of money to shop with!!! :P xoxoxo ♥ ILY! (I had to put this one!!!)

OS- Happy Birthday beautiful may the Lord Bless you today and everyday. What a joy you are.

JF- raqi!!! happy birthday!! I pray that you have the most amazing and loving day!!! Im so happy you were born, =) you truly are a great friend and a blessing to have in my life!!! love you Raq!!! I pray that the Lord blesses you with your hearts desires !!!

VG- Happy Birthday beautiful women of God. So thankful God made an amazing person like you. Have a fantabulous day. Xoxo

IA- Happy BD!! You fill any room with joy and happiness. May God continue to bless you and fill you with His Holy Spirit for HIS GLORY!!

DC- Happy birthday my beautiful sister! May our Lord bless you abundantly today and forever more.

ZB- Hi raquel....I don't know you for too long..but long enough to know that you are such a beautiful and Godly woman!!...may God give you many blessings in your life and keep smiling...that smile can move mountains...:-)..Happy B-day!!!!

MG- Happy Birthday Raquel! May God continue to bless you and shine his light and glory all around you all the days of your life! Thank you for being such an awesome Youth Leader!

DH- Happy birthday Raquelita!!! :) I love you & pray for the Lord to continue to bless you and use you!! Xo

JH- Happy birthday emi! Hope you have such an incredible day. May God continue to bless you and use you to bless others :) You're an amazing person and I love you! ♥

CS- Happy birthday my wonderful special friend! You are such a blessing to so many.. May God shower you abundantly with His blessings :)

CV- Happy Birthday Mama Hen. only God knows how much I miss your words of wisdom and comfort. Rachel you are such a beautiful person, your is one that is rare and on fire for our King. Your passion and desire for the word challenges, inspires me daily. Happy Birthday Rachel. I love you and I miss you like a crazy person. (But I know my God sees my heart and that either in this world's paradise ot the real deal I will see you again, I cannot wait. -Corina (you know this made me cry, cry, cry)

Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lyrical Friday - You have Me

Happy Friday!!!
I am so happy to be sharing with you today.
You have Me by Michael and Lisa Gungor is one of the songs that brings stillness into my life and sprinkles grace over me. I am reminded through these lyrics of how great, how deep, how wide, how long is God's love for me. I sin continually. I am rebellious. I am alltogether unloveable but He still chooses to love me. Though I may wander, He still has me. Though I may fear, doubt and question Him, He still has me. Though I don't love Him as I say I do, He still has me.

Beloved Friends, be encouraged today with this glorious truth, He has you. You belong to God. He will shower you with grace, love and tender mercies. May His precious Spirit fill you today with this knowledge. Jesus loves you, for you!

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
Psalm 139:7-12
You have Me, Gungor

Out on the farthest edge
There in the silence
You were there

My faith was torn to shreds
Heart in the balance
And You were there

Always faithful, always good
You still have me
You still have my heart

I thought I had seen the end
Everything broken
But You were there

I've wandered at heaven's gates
I've made my bed in hell
You were there still

Always faithful, always good
You still have me
You still have my heart

You have me, You have me
You have my heart completely
You have me, You have me
You have my heart completely

You have me, You have me
You have my heart completely
You have me, You have me
You have my heart

Thursday, March 3, 2011

You who still the noise

Hi Friends. I was so blessed this morning when I read Psalm 65 and I want to bless you too.

Blessed is the woman You choose,
And cause to approach You, that she may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple.
By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer Me, O God of our salvation,
You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of the far-off seas;
Who established the mountains by His strength, being clothed with power;
You who still the noise of the seas,
The noise of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples.
They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs;
You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice.
You visit the earth and water it,
You greatly enrich it;
The river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
For so You have prepared it.
You water its ridges abundantly,
You settle its furrows;
You make it soft with showers,
You bless its growth.
You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
They drop on the pastures of the wilderness,
And the little hills rejoice on every side.
The pastures are clothed with flocks;
The valleys also are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, they also sing.
vs 4-13


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

hello march.

Hi Friends.
I am so happy to be feeling better and blogging.
I don't know who this is for, but since last week I have been wanting to share it here:

From Job 5:8-18
If I were you, I would go to God and present my case to him.
He does great things, too marvelous to understand.
He performs countless miracles.
He gives rain for the earth and water for the fields.
He gives prosperity to the poor and protects those who suffer.
He frustrates the plans of schemers so the work of their hands will not succeed.
He traps the wise in their own cleverness so their cunning schemes are thwarted.
They find it is dark in the daytime, and they grope at noon as if it were night.
He rescues the poor from the cutting words of the strong,
and rescues them from the clutches of the powerful.
And so at last the poor have hope,
and the snapping jaws of the wicked are shut.
But consider the joy of those corrected by God!
Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin.
For though he wounds, he also bandages.
He strikes, but his hands also heal.

I absolutely loved this portion of scripture. I can't get enough of it.
My Jesus does great things, He performs miracles, He gives prosperity, He protects, He rescues, He gives hope, He corrects, He bandages and He heals. My Jesus can do all of that and so much more for you. If I were you, I'd go to my God and present my case to Him :)

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