Friday, February 25, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Before the Throne

Before the Throne, Shane and Shane

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!

Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace!

One in himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Loving the Unlovely

I've been quite sick these past few days. Slowly recovering from a nasty virus.
I wish I had great insight to share with you or even a wonderful story. But I don't. This virus had me shut down. So dear friends, this post comes not from me but from Nichol Naranjo from She Ministries.

Loving the Unlovely
Written by: Nichol Naranjo
Growing up I had two women in my life that filled the role of the grandmother I didn't have. I'm thankful for them both, and learned many things simply by watching them.

One of these women was very dominant, opinionated, independent, and unstoppable. By many, she would be considered a "strong" woman. She lived a life of hurt and heartache, and sought to please no one. Her opinions could be heard a mile away.

The second woman I grew up with was quite the opposite. She was quiet, kind, the most selfless woman I know. She lived to serve others. By many, she would be considered a "weak" woman. She also lived a life of hurt and heartache, sharing her home with an abusive husband.

The difference in these two women is that the latter loved God so much that all she could do was love, even her cruel husband.

As a little girl, I thought of the gentle, quiet-spirited one as a woman of weakness. It frustrated me that she loved and served her husband when he could be so mean. He didn't notice her servant's heart. But God did. It wasn't until I became an adult that I realized the woman of quiet words yet loud actions of love was actually the stronger of the two. You see, she drew her strength from the Lord and she died to herself daily. Her husband later asked her forgiveness on his death bed and accepted Christ. She loved him till the very end. Today, her face still radiates His love, joy, and peace.

She lived out 1 Peter 3:1-4: And because of that today, her children call her blessed.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Safe Place

People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. (Matthew 4:23)

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them. (Matthew 5:1-2)

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." Luke 7:37-38

Where is my safe place? In the presence of Jesus.
As you spend time in your Bible, you can read for yourself that I am not the only one who found safety, refuge and rest in Jesus. The crowds followed Jesus. The crowds brought to Jesus their sick, weary, thirsty, cursed, deamon possessed... the list goes on. People took themselves to Jesus, because only Jesus can give to them, to you, to me what our soul needs. Jesus is a safe place.

I pray that as you play Safe Place by Enter the Worship Circle, that you would find refuge and strength in the presence of Jesus. Though the world around may be crumbling down, know that Jesus can be your safe place. If the world has turned its back on you, Jesus can be your safe place. No matter where you find yourself today, know this very moment than Jesus can be your safe place.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,  my God, in whom I trust.” 
Psalm 91:1-2
Safe Place, Enter the Worship Circle

You whisper the song over me.
I’m slow to answer,
slow to speak.
I found a safe place.

How wide is your love?
How wide,
How deep,
It's untouched.
Am I not enough?
I’ve found a safe place in you
I’ve found a safe place in you

Remember the day you called my name
I was a stranger but you loved me the same
I found a safe place

You are the one my heart is waiting for
You are my treasure,
You are my king,
You are the door
You hold me tight,
You hold me quiet
You hold me safe

How wide is your love?
How deep,
How high
It’s untouched
Am I not enough?
I found a safe place in you
I found a safe place in you

Thursday, February 17, 2011

To: All // From: Paul

Owe no one anything except to love one another,  
for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy... Monday!

First I wanted to update you on the new HEAL group. Our first meeting was this last Saturday. It was an awesome time. The girls were a blessing to have. I am very excited (as I always am) for these girls. Pray for them as the Spriti leads you. Thanks.

Last night I attended a Valentine's Day dinner. It was so much fun. Great food, fun games, lots of laughter and a hilarious movie to end the night. But one activity that we did together before dinner was my favorite part. At the dining table, each chair had a heart shaped balloon tied to it. Written on each balloon was a single verse (just the reference), each balloon was different. Before tearing our plate of yummy food apart we each looked up our verse, wrote it down on an index car and then one by one read the verse for all to hear. My verse was Psalm 89:28.

I will love him and be kind to him forever; my covenant with him will never end.

I personalize scriptures ALL the time:
"I will love Raquel and be kind to Raquel forever; my covenant with her will never end."
Now you try it: "I will love _____ and be kind to _____ forever; my with _____ will never end."

I adore how personal God is.
He will love you forever.
He will be kind to you forever.
His covenant (bond, agreement, promise, vow) with you will never end.

I know what this spoke to me. I pray that God may meet you where you are at with this verse.
God bless YOU!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Yahweh

Yay for Friday arriving. And with it a great song.
I won't say much about this song other than WOW. Watch the first video and then the song will play in the second video.

May you look to Yahweh!

Yahweh, Hillsong United, video one

Yahweh, Hillsong United, video two

Our God He lives forever
He reigns in power and love
Let Earth bow down before Him
For He is exalted

Pre-Chorus 2:
We look to Yahweh Yahweh
Our hope is Yahweh Yahweh

Verse 2:
Our hope is God Almighty
His love is greater than all
Lift high the God of Heaven
Give all the honor

And He shall reign forever
He shall reign forever
He shall reign
Forever and ever (Our God)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Heavenly Perfection: Why our Desire for Perfect is Okay

We are girls who long for perfect.

The perfect look.
The perfect body.
The perfect life.
Perfect love.

In my own strivings and temptations to create a pretty little life, I am discovering that our craving for perfect is God-given; that our yearning for perfection is not bad - it's [gasp] perfectly okay.

I believe our insatiable hunger for perfect exists because God has set eternity in our hearts. Our weary souls ache for a place even more lovely and beautiful that our eyes have seen. A place where our hearts are whole and fully alive and will never be broken; a place free from the pains and pressures of our earthly life.

Our innate longing for perfect is why we're helplessly enamored by magazine images, spend hours on fashion and design blogs, and shop for pretty stuff we want and don't need.

We fail to acknowledge that our pursuit for worldly perfection flows from a sanctified spiritual hunger that will never be satisfied by all the beauty, clothes, guys and fine accessories our hearts could desire.

Our collective pursuit of worldly perfection has come with a costly price. Too many of us are living shallow, fruitless, inward-focused lives while the world around us cries out for our authentic beauty.

We are made for so much more.

True perfection awaits in our heavenly home, but how do you think we can keep from getting caught up in finding it here?

For more from Wonderfully Made, click here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

30 Hour Famine

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply,
‘Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Hi beloved Friends.
Uth Nation (youth group I serve at) is joining with 30 Hour Famine and raising money to feed those starving and without hope. Our youth group will be feeding the kids in Haiti.
"Students around the world loving God and fighting hunger. It’s that simple. Every year, thousands of students unite to do the 30 Hour Famine. They learn about hunger - and then they do something about it. They raise funds. They experience hunger for themselves. Best of all? They help save lives."
The best part is that you can help!
Here are the easy to follow instructions:
1. Go to
2. For more information before giving, go to the About (on the top left hand corner) or click here.
3. To make a donation of any amount go to Donate (on the top right hand corner) or click here.
    > click: Search for a student or group (Orange button) or click here.
    > Search me as : First name: Raquel // Last name: Rodriguez // group name: Uth Nation
4. Once you've clicked on my name a new page will open (this one) and on the bottom right hand corner it will say: Make a gift! <-----that's where you want to go.
5. From then on I'll let the Spirit of God lead you as you give, to the least of these.
    > A detailed description will be found on this page, explaining how each gift amount will bless these kids.

For the remainder of February and March we will be raising funds. It doesn't just stop there. 30 Hour Famine organizes exactly what its name is, a 30 hour fast. Our youth group will be hosting a lock-in at church for the kids in youth who have collected a minimum of $30. That night will include: educating the kids on famine/poverty/hunger, devotion time, games and more. We will be starving for food. So please, prayerfully consider joining this great cause.

Thank you for you help and spread the word!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Cannons

Hi Friends.
After praying this morning for a Lyrical Friday song, this song began to play in my mind. So much so, that I have not been able to sing any other. God definitely wants you to listen to the lyrics, meditate on them and worship Him. Phil Wickham is one of my favorite worshippers. I was blessed to hear Phil live this past January. Cannons is up there in my favorites written by him.

Praying that as you sit and take in these lyrics, that your heart would be humbled before the majesty of our Lord. May you break forth in song and praise our Lord.

Cannons, Phil Wickham

Thursday, February 3, 2011

hey there

This has been a busy week for me.
Very quickly, in the 30 minutes I have of lunch I wanted to bring a little encouragement and homework to you.

It seems as if I've been studying the book of Isaiah since the day I was born (OK, so I exaggerate). It's taken me quite some time. The Lord has spoken love, conviction and hope into my life through this long journey in the fields of Isaiah. This week I read a verse in chapter 63 that moved me.

In all their affliction He was afflicted,
and the Angel of His Presence saved them;
in His love and in His pity He redeemed them;
and He bore them and carried them
all the days of old. (verse 9)

Studying God's word verse by verse is great. You gain so much wisdom, truth and revelation. Any who, as I studied this one verse I broke down. God, creator of Heaven and Earth, is afflicted with our affliction. But such affliction is not what you and I would in other words call suffering. The affliction found is this verse is the affliction caused by continual (persistent, ceaseless, frequent and around-the-clock) rebellion.

Forgive me Lord for feeding my flesh and grieving you.
It makes me sick to my stomach to know that I, one of God's favored child, could cause Him such pain. Made me stop and reflect on my walk. Is their a continual sin in my life causing God to be afflicted? Holy Spirit reveal any wicked way within me and lead me in the way of everlasting.

But I praise Him as well. Oh to know the love of Christ, that in the midst of our disgusting sin, He saves us, loves us and redeems us. His love never fails. 

Now for Homework.
I spoke with the sweetest elderly lady today. Her name is Cheryl.
She is sick with bronchitis and overwhelmed with some family issues.
She is need of our prayers. Please pray for her.

That's all from me today. God bless you my friends.

greetings from Sunny South Florida this week. 

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